Today is Sunday, September 21, 2014

Vaughan turns 102

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By SABRINA GARRETT
The Wilson Post

Hearthside Assisted Living resident Jimmie Vaughan celebrated her 102nd birthday Thursday with a party at the University Medical Center McFarland Campus.

It is worth being old to get all of this, Jimmie said as she enjoyed a helping of fruit salad and chocolate cake prepared for her by Program Director Sara Beth Holland.

Originally from Mathiston, Miss., Jimmie relocated to Nashville to pursue her educational and personal dreams.

She met her future husband, J. Roy Vaughan, when she was 14-years-old and he came to her home town to preach. Brother Roy was 11 years her senior and decided to wait for Jimmie to wed.

Jimmie attended school at Lipscomb University in Nashville and was a survivor of the fire that took place on campus in 1930.

Friend Dianne Cozart said that Jimmie was on the second story of the building when the fire broke out. Although the flames singed her hands and arms, she made her way into a room with friends and tied sheets together to shimmy down and escape. After the fire, Jimmie spent a long time in the hospital nursing her wounds, but was able to return to school near the end of the year.

While at Lipscomb, Jimmie was voted most popular and most attractive by her peers. I had a good time, she said. She also was the social editor of her school newspaper, The Blabber.

Jimmie and Brother Ray eloped when Jimmie turned 19. Jimmie said that Ray had bought her a diamond ring, but she insisted it was too much money so he returned it for a simpler band. They married at the home of another preacher on Aug. 7, 1930, with her grandmother Granny Greer as the witness. The couple lived in St. Petersburg, Fla., for the first several years of their marriage before relocating to Miami.

They eventually moved back to Nashville, where Brother Ray preached at Hillsboro Church of Christ and later worked as editor of the Gospel Advocate.

Jimmie and Ray had three children during their marriage two girls and a boy. Her daughters, Helen and Katherine are both deceased, but son, John, continues to live in Wilson County.

It takes a lot to be a preachers wife, Jimmie said of her late husband.

In her spare time she enjoyed sewing and crocheting hobbies that she has just recently given up after decades of making clothes for her family.

When Jimmie turned 100, Cozart said she received a birthday card from the President of the United States and First Lady.

I feel very happy and glad that I have made it this long, Miss Jimmie said, smiling at her loved ones.

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