WWII veteran lived for family and work
Vaughn Myers would do almost anything to get his young granddaughter to laugh.
“Once, when I was about 5, he let me put my grandmother’s makeup all over his face,” Brooke Duffy, of Philadelphia, said. “I don’t know if my grandmother liked it, but I did.”
Vaughn E. Myers, of Hampton, a steelworker for more than 30 years, died Thursday, Dec. 29, 2005, of natural causes at Landmark Manor, a Hampton assisted living facility. He was 81.
A quiet man with a droll sense of humor, Mr. Myers was extraordinarily devoted to his closest relatives, they say.
“He just loved my mother,” said his daughter, Leslie Pilszak. “He was not a real social guy, but he just had an undying love for those closest to him.”
Mr. Myers’ wife, Carolyn Myers, died in 1993. The couple had been married for 41 years.
A native of Westmoreland County, Mr. Myers, the son of the late John Myers and the late Ruth Myers, grew up in Indianola, a one-time coal producing area where many of his relatives worked.
In 1944, he enlisted in the Navy, serving for two years.
“He really never talked about his military service,” Pilszak said. “We know nothing about where he was.”
Mr. Myers badly wanted to serve his country at the height of World War II.
“He was too small, so they turned him away the first time,” his daughter said. “He was allowed in on the second try.”
When he returned to the United States, Mr. Myers found work as a machinist in several Pittsburgh-area steel mills. For more than three decades, he worked as a machinist at Heppenstall Steel Co. in Lawrenceville.
“It was very hard on him when the mill closed in the early ’80s,” Pilszak said. “He was not ready to retire.”
After the Heppenstall mill closed, Mr. Myers worked for 15 years as a handyman at the Wildwood Golf Club in Hampton.
Mr. Myers’ granddaughter said he regularly sent her greeting cards.
“He would always take time to pick out the perfect Christmas or birthday card,” Duffy said. “And he saved every card I ever sent him.”
Mr. Myers is survived by his daughter, Leslie Pilszak, of Hampton; sisters Marian Douglass, of Florida, and Shirley Vincent, of Indiana Township; and a granddaughter, Brooke Duffy, of Philadelphia.
A memorial service with military honors was conducted Friday in the Herbert R. King Jr. Funeral Home Inc. Burial will be private.