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: www.carruthersdavidson.com