In Memoriam

In Memoriam…


Neal Vaughan, 91, Ft. Sumner
, a longtime De Baca County farmer and cattle rancher died April 20, 2012 at the ranch. Clifton Neal Vaughan was born May 15, 1920 to George Reber Vaughan and the former Emma Schooler. He attended and graduated from Fort Sumner Schools in 1939 and attended New Mexico State University. Neal married Dorothy May Redick on September 17, 1942. On the day following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Neal enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served until his honorable discharge on December 31, 1945 with the rank of Tech Sergeant. His tour of duty included five campaigns in Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe. Neal returned to the family ranch south of Fort Sumner where he ranched and farmed. He was a member of the De Baca and New Mexico Farm Bureau, New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association, and served for 17 years on the A.S.C.S. board. He was also a member of the First United Methodist Church in Fort Sumner. Survivors include his wife of 69 years, Dorothy; three sons Lloyd Redick Vaughan (wife, Melody), Dallas; Richard Neal Vaughan (wife, Ellen), and Charles George Vaughan (wife, Rhonda), all of the family ranch; three daughters Laurel Ann Tisler (husband, Paul), Roswell; Mary Hillen (husband, Mike), Longmont, Colorado; and Frances Schroeder (husband, Jay), T or C. Also surviving is a brother George Vaughan, Albuquerque; two sisters Ann Porter (husband, Dave), Santa Fe, and Emma Jean Duriez (husband, George), Vallejo, California; along with 11 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

Joe Virden, 75, Amarillo, died March 24, 2012. He was born Dec. 1, 1936, in Plainview to Ben T. Virden and Selma Bass Gardner. He attended Amarillo schools, then served in the Marine Corps stationed at Mare Island in Vallejo, California. Joe met his future wife, Jenny, on a blind date. Three months later, they married in Reno, Nev. They were married 56 years. He owned several butcher shops in San Francisco and the Bay Area. He also owned Holbrook Family Billiards Center and Joe the Butcher’s Restaurant in Concord. In 1973 he moved his family back to Amarillo and purchased Virden Perma-Bilt Co. He invented a urethane water windmilll pump system, which is working today throughout the United States and a few foreign countries. Joe volunteered for Meals on Wheels and Odyssey Hospice and was a member of the Amarillo Inventors Association and the U.S. Chess Federation. Survivors include Jenny; two daughters, Audrey Davis (husband, Tony), Jacksonville, Florida and Terri Harris (husband, Gary), Amarillo; two granddaughters, three great-grandchildren; a sister, Dr. Carolyn Brown (husband, Dr. George), Alaska; his stepmother, Bethel Virden, Amarillo; and all the friends he made along the way.

Robert Richard “Rich” Sims, 82, Queen, passed away on March 4, 2012. He was born on December 3, 1929 in Pastura to George E. and Wahlecia Dell Blackwell Sims. Rich attended school at Pastura and Santa Rosa High School receiving his diploma in 2007 under a special Veterans program for World War II and Korean War Veterans who enlisted before graduation and served their country honorably during the Wars. He served during both wars, enlisting in the U.S. Army Corps in 1946 and serving until 1949. In 1951 he re-enlisted in the Army Air Force and served until 1954. Rich controlled and executed the ordering and transferring of all bombs and ammunition to the Pacific. He also attended college at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and New Mexico Highlands University. He was in the Boy Scouts of America and received the Life Scout Award. Rich helped run the family ranch and then joined the Rodeo Cowboy Association (RCA) competing in bronc riding, bull riding and bulldogging. In 1942 at age 13 he split first place in bull riding with Fuzzy Garner at the Teddy Roosevelt Rough Riders’ Reunion. In 1952 Rich won part of the bareback riding at the New Mexico State Fair beating World Champion Casey Tibbs. In 1989 he organized Sims’ State Wide Insurance. Rich wrote and published two books of Sims’ family history and early day New Mexico entitled The Way ItT-Wer and Long in the Tooth (The New Texicans). He is survived by his wife, Billie Boles, Queen; three daughters, Robin Norris (husband, Jeff), and Mikie Sims, all of Chandler, and Shelley Scott, Queen; a brother, Dr. James Rae Sims, Bozeman, Montana and a sister, Betty Sims Solt, Roswell. He is also survived by six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren

.Editor’s Note: Please  send In Memoriam announcements to: Caren Cowan, N.M. Stockman, P.O. Box 7127, Albuquerque, NM 87194, fax: 505/998-6236 or email: caren@aaalivestock.com. Memorial donations may be sent to the Cattlegrowers’ Foundation, a 501(c)3, tax deductable charitable foundation serving the rights of ranch families and educating citizens on governmental actions, policies and practices. Cattlegrowers Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 7517, Albuquerque, NM 87194.