by KTNA Staff ~ February 13th, 2017
Michael Gwillym Vaughan died February 8, 2017 in Wasilla, AK. Early onset dementia had taken up most of what made Michael a brilliant and infinitely curious man. He was born in Boise, Idaho, on October 24, 1942, to Timothy and Alice Vaughan. Michael grew up in Sandpoint, Idaho, and moved to Spokane, Washington, in 1954. During his high school years, he became a ham-radio operator and obtained his first class FCC license, the start of his life-long association with communications technologies. After attending Washington State University he moved to Seattle and started working at public radio station KRAB. He then got a job with SatCom, and began working on the big dish in Brewster. He moved to Talkeetna, Alaska, in 1970 to work at Bartlett Earth Station, where he stayed until they closed the doors three decades later. Michael was involved in public radio his whole life and was instrumental in starting KTNA, Talkeetna’s public radio station. After retiring, he worked as an engineering consultant for many public radio stations across Alaska including KSKO McGrath, KZPA Fort Yukon, and KHNS Haines. For many years, he volunteered with Ski for Light, a program dedicated to enhancing the lives of the visually or mobility impaired. An outdoorsman and adventurer who loved the glaciers and the rivers, Michael was equally at home on raft, dog sled, skis, or on foot, oblivious to cold, devils club, mosquitoes and other elements of the Alaskan wilderness.
Michael is survived by his sister Jane Rehms (spouse John); children (and spouses) Ixtla Vaughan, Dylan Vaughan (Natalie) George Vaughan (Molly), Meghaan Blomberg (Andy); grandchildren Tuk, Finn, George Gwillym, Timothy, Helene, Evan, and Jackson; wife Deborah Vaughan and first wife Carole Hemingway. There will be a celebration of Michael’s life in Talkeetna this spring.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” (Henry David Thoreau)