Catherine Vaughan (Collins)
Mrs. Catherine Collins Vaughan of Wethersfield, formerly of West Hartford, died peacefully surrounded by her loving family on February 11, 2018. Mrs. Vaughan was a daughter of the late Mary (McMahon) Collins and the late Richard Collins. Along with her four beloved sisters, she was born in Hartford, grew up in her family's home in its south end, and spent summers at their cottage in Black Point, Niantic. She was a graduate of St. Augustine School and Morgan Gardner Bulkeley High School, Class of 1945, and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Child Study from Saint Joseph College (now University of Saint Joseph) West Hartford, Class of 1949, and a Master of Science degree in Elementary Education from The University of Hartford in 1968.
Mrs. Vaughan's entire career as an educator, spanning thirty-nine years, was in service to students of the Hartford Public Schools; first at Eleanor B. Kennelly School for three years and subsequently at Louis W. Batchelder Elementary School. As a classically trained student of early childhood pedagogy, Mrs. Vaughan was a consummate educator of the primary grades with kindergarten being dearest to her. It was, by her own account, the one which gave her the greatest satisfaction: she was inspired to instill intellectual curiosity and the joy of learning during her students' critical first year of school. She frequently stated how happy she was to go to work every day and how fortunate she felt to have a profession which she loved.
Mrs. Vaughan met Kevin J. Vaughan when he was her blind date for a collegiate dance. He was immediately smitten; drawn to her classic Irish beauty and dignified sensibilities. He made her laugh with his sharp wit and was gregarious, lighthearted, warm, and a fabulous dancer. They were married in St. Augustine Church, Hartford, in 1952. He predeceased her in 1986.
Together, they had three children; a son and twin daughters. Mrs. Vaughan lead by example and was deliberate in how she chose to raise her children. She was rational and practical while gentle and loving with high expectations guided by a moral compass rooted in her Roman Catholic faith. This was reflected in choices she made from the schools her children attended to how she cultivated and shared her interests- which included the arts, literature, nutrition, politics, current events, education, sports and her Irish ancestry.
Mrs. Vaughan's was an exemplar of a life well-lived, with integrity its hallmark. She was a woman of ideas who enjoyed intellectual exchanges in addition to humorous anecdotes, as evidenced by her infectious laugh, beautiful smile and the twinkling of her gorgeous blue eyes. These characteristics served her well, particularly in her later years, when the challenges of aging failed to deter her from continuing to lead her daily life with fortitude in an organized, disciplined capacity and with an unfailing belief in God. She will be deeply missed and always lovingly remembered as an extraordinary mother, a loving wife, and devoted grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. Well done good and faithful servant.
Mrs. Vaughan is survived by her son, Kevin C. Vaughan and her daughter-in-law Regina M. Vaughan of Wethersfield, her daughters, Elizabeth V. Pilz and son-in-law Sanford O. Pilz, of Newington, Mary V. Mayeda and son-in-law Francis J. Mayeda, M.D. of Waterford. Also surviving her are her seven beloved grandchildren: Theresa Pilz of Bristol, Molly Boyle of Glastonbury, Daniel Pilz of Wethersfield, Margaret Vaughan of Wethersfield, Kevin Pilz of Newington, Kevin Mayeda and Grace Mayeda, both of of Waterford. Additionally she leaves her dear sister, Nora Elizabeth Pickering of West Hartford and many beloved nieces and nephews, including Mary Pickering of West Hartford, Nancy Voccola, of Middletown, New Jersey and her goddaughter, Mary Anne Sullivan of Wethersfield. She also leaves her dearest friend of 70 years, Gladys Paskov, of Farmington. Mrs. Vaughan was predeceased by three beloved sisters: Mary C. Erbal, Nancy C. Mahoney, and Louise Collins.
Calling hours will be held Thursday February 15, 2018 from 4:00 – 7:00 PM at the Farley-Sullivan Funeral Home, 34 Beaver Rd., Wethersfield. The funeral will be held Friday February 16, 2018 at 10:15 AM from the funeral home, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in Mrs. Vaughan's home parish, The Church of the Incarnation, 544 Prospect St., Wethersfield at 11:00 AM. Burial will be in Mount St. Benedict Cemetery, 1 Cottage Grove Rd., Bloomfield. To extend online condolences, please visit Farleysullivan.com.