McAllister man dies in kayaking accident, remembered for faith, love of outdoors

Harold-Allen Vaughn III of McAllister will be remembered by his family as a young man of faith, always in love with the outdoors and anxious for an adventure.

Vaughn drowned last Wednesday in a kayaking accident in the Gallatin River near Bozeman, where he was a student at Montana State University. He was 21. His funeral was Tuesday at the Madison Valley Baptist Church in Ennis.

“His faith was the most important thing,” said Harold’s father Allen. “It’s what was most important in life and that’s how we raised him and thanked the Lord that he carried it on.”

The Vaughns moved to Montana from Arkansas in 2002. They moved first to Red Lodge and then to McAllister in 2006.

Allen called the move an adventure for the family of four. They all loved the outdoors and the Madison Valley was a great place to land. Harold graduated from Ennis High School in 2009.

Harold was an especially avid outdoors enthusiast, Allen said.

“He was an excellent duck caller, duck hunter,” he said. “The first word he said before momma and daddy was duck, duck, duck.”

The family recreated a lot together enjoying hunting, fishing, snowboarding and skiing.

Kayaking was another sport Harold wanted to learn.

“The kayaking is something that he wanted to do when we lived in Red Lodge,” Allen said.

And though a kayaking accident took Harold’s life, his father knows he was having fun.

“He was doing what he wanted to do,” Allen said. “He was having fun. It’s something that he’s been wanting to do for 10 years.”

Harold’s lasting legacy is his tremendous faith, Allen said. And that is also what he would want people to think about now.

“Of everything, the most important thing he would tell you today is that he was a Christian,” Allen said. “He is with his Lord and Savior today.”

Harold would want his friends and family to realize that life is short and the relationship they have with God is crucial, he said.

“What’s here doesn’t last long and where he’s at in heaven is where he’d want everyone else to be,” Allen said.

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