Vaughn Funeral Home Serving Families for More Than 90 Years

Vaughn Funeral Home Serving Families for More Than 90 Years

Donna Vaughn Continues to operate the family business that started in 1933.

Located in Spring City in north Rhea County, there is a business that has been in operation for over 90 years. Vaughn Funeral Home is one of the oldest family owned and operated funeral homes in the area today. It was founded in 1933 by Eldon and Wincil Vaughn in a house across the street from the current day location. In addition to operating the funeral home, the Vaughn family also provided ambulance service to the area to transport citizens to area hospitals in emergency situations.

Eldon partnered with Paul Lyons, a local businessman, and the funeral home was known as Vaughn and Lyons Funeral Home.Approximately a year after Alfred “Tink” Vaughn began working at the funeral home in 1935, the business was moved to a new location across the street where it has remained all these years. A few years later Paul Lyons was bought out by John Vaughn, cousin to Eldon and Tink. The funeral home was then known as Vaughn and Vaughn Funeral Home until the late 1940’s and then later became Vaughn Funeral Home.

Eldon, along with his brother Tink, operated the funeral home until Eldon’s death in 1968. Tink and Mildred Vaughn operated the funeral home until 1986 when they retired and sold it to their daughter, Donna Vaughn. Donna was brought home from the hospital as a newborn in a vintage 1955 Meteor Cadillac hearse driven by her father Tink. Donna graduated from John Gupton College, Nashville, TN in 1975, where she became a licensed funeral director and embalmer. Donna is a beloved fixture in the community, she still owns and operates the family business today.  

Looking back, probably one of the darkest days for the funeral home was on the afternoon of August 22, 1955, when a southbound freight train struck a school bus as it was crossing the tracks in town taking children home from school. This same hearse that brought Donna home from the hospital was used to help transport the injured children from the accident to area hospitals.  In the bus/train accident, 11 children lost their lives, and 36 more children were injured.

Safely tucked away in the funeral home’s vehicle inventory is a horse drawn carriage hearse, the original 1955 hearse along with a 1956 Cadillac Limousine that Donna purchased and restored. 

Mildred Roberts Vaughn passed away on July 5, 1991, and Alfred “Tink” Vaughn passed away on May 15, 1993. They are buried together in the Spring City Cemetery.

Donna and her staff are caring and experienced professionals providing families with compassionate services in their time of grief.




Published byDean

Born and raised in Dayton Tennessee, I have served in various public service positions in the past. I have a great interest in the History of our town. This site is a way for me to share some of the great history of the area.

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