Steve Vaughan

Steve Vaughan

Friday, November 26th, 1937 - Saturday, September 12th, 2020
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William “Steve” Stearns Vaughan

On September 12, 2020, while still fighting with every ounce of energy that he could muster, Steve left this world, on his own terms, with his loving wife, Jayne (nee Stanley) by his side. Born in Fredericton, NB on November 26, 1937, he was the son of the late William “Bill” and Verna (Rogers) Vaughan.

Steve left an indelible mark on this earth and will be sadly missed. Steve was devoted father to Derek (Cheryl) of Tillsonburg, Chris (Susie Hendrie) of Toronto and stepfather to David Reed (Shelagh Meek) of Toronto. Steve was sadly predeceased by his son, Nelson (Bonnie-Marie Henry). Caring grandfather to Rebecca, Stephanie, Graham, Miles, Emmanuelle, Charlotte, Philip, Talbot Henry, Carter Reed and Stella Reed. Supportive brother to his surviving sisters, Alexa “Pex” Legris and Kathleen “Kathi” Zwicker. Survived by first cousins, Ron Vaughan, Brenda Vaughan, Sally Allanach, Nancy Rogers, Peter Rogers and Janet Newey. Steve was also predeceased by his parents, his siblings, Sheila, Richard, Rodney and Kenneth and first cousins Carl Vaughan, Donna Matchett, Sandra Vaughan, Peter Vaughan, Nelly Purdy, Molly Ashworth, and Noreen Chorney.

Steve earned a B.S. in geology from U.N.B., followed by a masters in geology from McGill, and a law degree from U.N.B.. In 1965, Steve moved his growing family to Toronto where he lived most of his life and built his law practice. Steve worked the majority of his life at the law firm of Aird & Berlis LLP. Steve later joined McMillan Binch LLP, followed by Heenan Blaikie LLP lastly joined the Toronto office of Dorsey & Whitney LLP. Steve eventually settled at “the farm” in Singhampton, ON. He never officially retired and continued to practice law as so many of his clients, many of whom became close personal friends, would seek his counsel throughout the remainder of his life.

Steve’s unique view of the world, sculpted by his primary education in geology, guided his path to being regarded as a global expert in all aspects of mining law by both industry and governments in more than 65 countries. World leaders, colleagues and local indigenous peoples recognized Steve as an honest, knowledgeable, advocate. Steve published numerous articles and received many individual recognitions. Of note, in 2002, Steve was a recipient of PDAC’s Distinguished Service Award, in 2014, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from U.N.B. and in 2017, Steve received, what he considered his highest honour, induction into the Mining Hall of Fame.

Steve was never one to just lie around as he enjoyed most sports, including both varsity basketball and football. Steve began skiing in his 40s and subsequently became a member of Devil’s Glen ski club. Steve learned to scuba dive in his 60s and traveled the world exploring geology under the seas. Steve’s real passion was fly fishing at the “Bill Vaughan” family camp on the Miramachi River, his favourite place to be.

Steve was a quiet philanthropist who contributed to various charitable organizations including the ALS Society of Canada and U.N.B.. Steve was especially known for mentoring many colleagues or willing to make time to help a young person make a connection to their future career.

In light of COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no visitation offered. There will be a private, family service held on Sunday, October 11, 2020. A celebration of life is being considered for a later date. For those who wish, memorial tributes may be made to the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital and The University of New Brunswick. Arrangements entrusted to Carruthers and Davidson Funeral Home. To sign Steve’s book of memories, please visit:
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Service Details

  • Service

    Sunday, October 11th, 2020 |
    Sunday, October 11th, 2020
    In light of COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no visitation held and a private family celebration will be held by invitation only.
  • Interment

    Singhampton Cemetery




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Helen Gillespie

Posted at 02:12pm
My family and the Vaughans are intergenerational friends. My father Tom Gillespie was a friend of Steve’s father – my Dad loved fishing and top of his list was the Miramichi with the Vaughans.
Dad and Steve became friends and business colleagues – that included the time at Aird & Berlis and Algoma Central Corporation – I know that Steve was there when the ACR became greater than a railway – with ships, malls, land, apartments, and office buildings. My father trusted Steve’s business sense and practical approach to law. While Steve’s professional career was bound within the mining world (and there were some great stories he told) Steve also nurtured, counselled, and advised small businesses like our Canadian Spring. He was wise and fun and when you didn’t take his advice – no harm no foul.
I loved his big gruff voice. I heard how much he loved Jayne and appreciated her. I knew that he loved his sons and grandchildren. I imagine everyone got a big hug, some hard advice and then a laugh. And he always left me with this “call me if you need anything, anytime”.
He was special.
Helen Gillespie
Sault Ste. Marie and Vancouver

Daryl Hodges

Posted at 06:12pm
I was just informed of Steve's passing. Very surprising and sad. Definitely one of the side effects of COVID that it is a month after his death. I was forever bumping into Steve downtown or in China, or his name would come up in conversation. He was one of those omnipresent personalities! Steve was a very strong and helpful person. I had worked across the table from him and also with him on mining transactions over the years. He was always a dependable source of good ideas and helpful suggestions. The world was definitely a better place with Steve. My condolences go out to his wife and family. I will have a quiet toast to him tonight.

Laurie Burns

Posted at 01:46pm
Thoughts are with the family during this difficult time Steve was a great friend and business partner with my father Cecil Burns My father wanted you all to know that he will miss him and all the kindness and loyalty he showed all these years Cecil and L Burns

Connie Keck

Posted at 07:33pm
Derek, Chris & Family, I have no words to express the sadness I feel over Steve's passing. I met Steve when I was 20 years old while working at Aird & Berlis. We became good friends and stayed so for the next 42 years. I was fortunate enough to get together with Steve often and listen to all his great stories of horseback riding in Mexico, digging in the mines of Brazil and working with all the fascinating dignitaries he knew. He was well respected and well loved by so many people, me being one of them. He was a remarkable man with a heart of gold. RIP Steve, you will be so missed, but never ever forgotten.

Connie Keck

Posted at 07:22pm
With loving memories of Steve Vaughan. He will remain in my heart forever.
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