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Frances Downing Vaughan


Frances Downing Vaughan, 97, a poet, artist and writer, passed away peacefully on the morning of December 25, 2019, in her city of residence of Cambridge, MA. 

Frances graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College in 1944.  A passionate learner and lifelong student, Frances taught a course on the "the Reading and Writing of Poetry" at the Harvard Institute for Learning In Retirement for more than 20 years.  She was honored as the Institutes's first Poet Laureate for her fine poetry which she continued to write until her passing.  

Frances previously served as Poet Laureate of the Town of Marshfield, Massachusetts.  A birder and nature lover, she spent many summers on the island of Monhegan, ME, with her second husband, William Vaughan, Sr.  Frances Vaughan's poems have been published in the Christian Science Monitor, the South Shore News and various poetry journals.  One of her poems was selected for inclusion in the 1980 Yearbook of American Poetry.  She was the recipient of the Norma Farber Award of the New England Poetry Club. 

Frances is survived by a large and loving family including her great grand-daughter, and namesake, Frances.  Peter W. Waer, son, Waltham, MA; Pamela Downing Waer Kenny, daughter, Stonington CT.  Julia Frances Kenny, grand-daughter, Brooklyn, NY; Lydia Callan Kenny, grand-daughter, Stonington, CT; and Frances Brennan Colman, great grand-daughter, Brooklyn, NY.  Rick Downing, nephew, Seattle, WA; Bill Downing, nephew, Seattle, WA; Margaret Downing, niece, Waltham, MA; and Elizabeth Van Horn, niece, Alfred, NY.  William Vaughan, Jr., stepson, Chebeague Island, ME; Ellen Vaughan, stepdaughter, North Yarmouth, ME; and Frank Vaughan, stepson, Woburn, MA. 

Frances's life encompassed a wide circle of friends from whose lives she was enriched, and to whose lives she may have contributed.  

A gathering may be scheduled in the Spring of 2020.  Remembrance in her name may be sent to Rosie's Place in Boston, Massachusetts. 

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