Richard “Dick” Wayne Vaught U.S. Veteran

October 25, 1921 - March 30, 2013

Richard (Dick) Wayne Vaught, 91, of Columbia, Mo., passed away Saturday, March 30, 2013. He was born in Fillmore, California on October 25, 1921. His parents were Leroy and Dorothy Vaught; he is the last remaining child of five siblings. He graduated from Platte City High School in 1939. and was working for Beach Aircraft in San Diego when he heard Pearl Harbor had been bombed in 1941. He, with his friends, drove straight back to Platte City, Mo. and enlisted in the Navy. He was first stationed in Miami, Florida, as an Aviation Machinist Mate and flew in PBY airplanes on submarine patrol duty during the war. After the war he returned to Missouri and enrolled in the University of Missouri where he graduated with a B.S. degree 1948. in Agriculture, Fisheries and Wildlife. Dick began his career with the Missouri Conservation Commission in September 1948, as a Technician in the Federal Aid Cover Restoration Project where he remained until 1950, when he was transferred to the August A. Busch Memorial Wildlife Area. A promotion to Area Manager in 1951, moved Dick to Trimble Wildlife Area where he supervised initial development and management of Canada Goose nesting. After managing the Trimble Wildlife Refuge he was promoted to Project Leader for Waterfowl Research in Columbia. He quickly assumed a leadership role in the Technical Section of the Mississippi Flyway Council and became a recognized authority on the Eastern Prairie population of Canada Geese. In recognition of his research and leadership he was awarded the outstanding achievement award - one of only three ever given to that date and later received the Missouri Chapter of the Wildlife Society's E. Syndey Stephens Professional Award. Dick was promoted to Jefferson City in the Central Office in 1971, as Supervisor of the Wetland Management Unit, where he prepared design criteria for development of newly acquired wetlands. From 1982 until his retirement in 1984, he supervised all waterfowl land management activities in northern Missouri. Under his leadership, area regulations and hunting procedures were improved, public services were broadened; wetland acquisition and interagency coordination activities were expanded. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge in Smithville, American Legion in Columbia, Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited and the Turkey Federation. An avid hunter and fisherman - his main love was sitting under a tree waiting for the Tom Turkey. He volunteered at the Truman VA Medical Center delivered Meals on Wheels, and was an elder at the First Christian Church. Dick was married to his wife, Jeryl Dean Vaught for 70 years. She resides at the Columbia Manor. His children survive him: Valerie Kent Brown, Julie Patterson Horton and David Richard Vaught and his wife Dawn Lea and four grandchildren, Lisa Dean Davis, Adam Christopher Horton, Rachel Lara Horton and Ellen Marie Vaught. Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m., on Friday, April 5, 2013, at First Christian Church, under the direction of Memorial Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to Meals on Wheels, 800 Hospital Dr, Columbia, MO 65201 or to the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation, P. O. Box 366, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0366. Online tributes may be left at

Obituary Condolences

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Please review our Policies and Procedures before registering or commenting

News Tribune - Obituary Condolences