Homer Vaughn Wagnon, Jr.
Homer V. Wagnon, Jr., B.M.E., P.E.
Homer Vaughn Wagnon, Jr. was born in Macon, Georgia Dec. 27, 1923, an only child. He left this world on 11/29/2017 having just satisfied his life’s ambitions. His father was always a Macon man and his birth mother, Marie Willey Wagnon, a Thomasville, NC native. His step-mother was Mary Wilson Harvey Wagnon who gave him a step-sister and step-brother, Claude Harvey Walton and Herschel “Buddy” Harvey, to be his siblings.
Vaughn was educated at Lanier High School for Boys, Purdue University, Georgia Institute of Technology and The University of Virginia.
As a Mechanical Engineer, he pursued his lifelong compulsion to design and build. Living in Philadelphia in 1950, he was employed by Uniroyal and later RCA. Moving to Charlottesville in 1959, where Sperry and Teledyne employed him, he ably met his goals as a machine designer. His range of new products varied from mechanical rubber goods, radio and TV, naval ships, and aircraft applications. In 1983, he became a self employed PE and diverted effort to Civil Engineering as a structural designer. In this capacity he enjoyed working with steel and concrete structures in the building industry, as well as wooden structures in the housing industry. Retiring in the year 2000, he claimed his was a most satisfying career of 50 years.
In his family were the love of his life, Darlene Raitt Wright Wagnon and her children: Debbie, Doug, Dan and Deana. Vaughn’s children were Larry and Linda from his first marriage. Altogether this family included eleven grandchildren: Tanya, Tara, Tariq, Timothy, Mary Mason, Nancy Douglas, Logan, Corey, Jaid, Sam and Taylor and five great grandchildren: Chase, Charley May, Channing, Nan and Noah; son-in-law, Doug Barnes and daughters-in-law, Kathryn Caperton, and Patricia Moyer. All live in Virginia except Doug and Linda Barnes of Chicago. What a delight it was to be part of this wonderful family.
Vaughn was happy working in his home workshop building things for the house and garden. He was an airplane private pilot, and was rated ASEL and VFR. He obtained his VA state “M” competence rating for operating a motorcycle. He enjoyed playing bridge, both duplicate and party games. He was a passionate collector of everything relating to his life experience and that of his loved ones. He was especially proud of his collection of guns and military memorabilia, reminiscent of his service in WWII. Words, music and language were his everyday delight. Ballroom dancing with Darlene and their many friends was a virtual obsession.
Vaughn was drafted on June 15, 1943 into the Army’s ASTP program for engineers. He completed his basic training in Camp Hood, TX, and then spent 6 months in Lafayette, IN attending Purdue University. From there he was inducted into the 102nd Infantry Division, “Ozarks”, where he was trained to be an infantry rifleman in “B” Co., 407th Inf. at Camp Swift, TX. Sent to the ETO with his division in 1944, he fought across Europe from France, through Belgium, Holland and Germany to the Elbe River on VE Day 1945. Wounded only once, he was awarded the EIB, CIB, PHM, BSM w/cluster for valor, GCM, WWII VM and EOM for Germany. Nine months in combat, he served his country in three campaigns: Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe. After the war, he was in the army of occupation for another nine months with the 79th and 90th Divisions. Vaughn rose through the ranks to become a platoon sergeant with the grade of S/Sgt, and was given an honorable discharge on December 28, 1945.
In later life, after retirement, Vaughn became a member of the BPO Elks Lodge 389, VFW, DAV, NRA, AAHG, CWRT, AL Post 74, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, 19th Va. Inf., Camp 1493 and the Thomas Jefferson Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution. He and Darlene were active participants with the “Ozarks”, 102nd Infantry Division, at their annual reunion sites all over the USA and he functioned as their Asst. Webmaster.