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Welcome to the memorial page for

James Anderson Vaughn

June 11, 1921 ~ May 14, 2017 (age 95)
Vaughn, James Anderson MD our loving Husband, Father, Grandfather and Lion of Medicine left us on May 14, 2017 to join his loving wife Phyllis Ann Vaughn MD after a valiant battle with pneumonia. He was a man whose passion for medicine and healing found a kindred spirit in his physician wife to help pursue his dreams. His work lead to eclectic adventures including: delivering president Eisenhower’s granddaughter at West Point, treating Bill Haast for 29 cobra bites, and being a founding father of South Miami Hospital. His vision for the development of improved hospital care in South Miami spurred him to serve as the first Chief of Staff of South Miami Hospital where he admitted the first patient and went on to serve two additional times as Chief of Staff and thirty years on the hospital board- thus some styling him as the George Washington of South Miami Hospital. Dr. Vaughn’s prescription for success was: love for medicine, love for patients, and love for colleagues.
Born June 11th, 1921 in Covington GA his family moved to West Palm Beach, FL in 1934. As a child of the Great Depression he developed a tireless mindset for getting things done. In 1941 he graduated from Emory University, a Chemistry major determined to pursue medicine. He entered medical school at University of Maryland where he met his wife and fellow student Phyllis Ann Peterson. In 1946 he graduated 6th in his class. While completing his internship and residency at University of Maryland he trained in anesthesia under Frederick Dye MD and participated in the university’s first open heart surgeries.
In 1947-1948 he served in the army as a physician at West Point where he gave anesthesia and supervised the pathology laboratory. In 1949 he presented his love a red tourniquet shaped in a heart and a marriage proposal that Phyllis accepted. She joined him while he was stationed in Italy where he served as a ranking staff officer at Trieste’s major hospital in part of the reconstruction effort of war torn Italy. Furloughs allowed trips through Italy and Europe that became an enchanting honeymoon filled with mystery, drama, and romance. In 1950 they settled in South Miami and opened a medical practice partnership. By mornings at 6:00 AM he practiced anesthesia at Mercy, Variety and Doctor’s Hospital, but by nights he cultivated his growing love for family practice in his office clinic relishing the personal bond it requires with patients.
After nine years of practice in 1959 in South Miami a group of doctors met with Jim Lyons MD and planned to open South Miami Hospital electing him as first Chief of Staff. He loyally, tirelessly, and devotedly cultivated the development of this hospital in every way serving as its chief in two other years 1960 and 1976 and serving in its medical board for over 30 years.
He wrote the history of South Miami Hospital in A Pioneer Remembers published in 2008 which highlights the hospital founding and the early adoption of new and innovative medical technologies. Throughout all of this Dr. Vaughn maintained a vibrant social life as a member of the Coral Gables Country Club and the Surf Club he also served as chairman of the Vaughn Jordan Foundation. Ever willing to make house calls his motto was “have bag, will travel” which he practiced until the age of 83. His devotion to healing and tenacious pluck will be greatly missed by all of us. He is survived by his son Dr. James P. Vaughn and his granddaughter, Victoria Vaughn. Funeral Service will be will take place at 1PM Sunday, May 21 at Plymouth Congregational Church, 3400 Devon Road, Coconut Grove FL. Visitation will be held from 3:00 to 5:00 PM Saturday May 20 at: Stanfill Funeral Homes.

 Service Information

May 20, 2017

3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Stanfill Funeral Home
10545 South Dixie Hwy.
Pinecrest, FL 33156

May 21, 2017

1:00 PM to TBD
Plymouth Congregational Church
3400 Devon Road
Coconut Grove, FL 33133


Woodlawn Park Cemetery

Miami, FL

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