Vaughn Fred Downare…August 12, 1931 – March 12, 2017


While Vaughn is gone here from earth, he has headed to the largest sale and is ranching the cattle and buffalo on a thousand hills for the greatest rancher and cattle baron of all. He went Home, due to natural causes while staying at the Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center in La Junta, Colorado, on March 12, 2017.

Vaughn Fred Downare, 85, was born on August 12, 1931 at Colorado General Hospital in Denver, to Phillip and Esther Downare. The oldest of six kids, Vaughn was a one-of-a-kind character and truly his own man. He followed his ambitions through hard work and determination that started at an early age. He loved going to every kind of auction, and at the age of seven, was trading goats and ditching school to drag calves on the back of his bicycle from the Roy Laws Sale Barn at Alameda and Federal Boulevard.

By age eight, Vaughn got a job delivering the Denver Post with a horse-and-cart and plowed fields and gardens for neighbors in the area. Starting at age nine, he would spend his summers working in a riding stable in Turkey Creek Canyon. These experiences sparked his interest and livestock career, but his drive extended beyond the corrals and into various other areas throughout his life.

He got his first dirt construction job at 16 years old, where his first assignment was operating a shovel and a rake. He went on to owning and operating his own construction business in the 1960s, which led him to building over a hundred miles of county roads in South Park throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Vaughn was also a carpenter. Not only did he make a living at it, his skilled trade allowed him to build or remodel every house he supplied for his family. For Vaughn, a day off consisted of heading to the shop on a winter day to build and rebuild his beautiful wagons and buggies.

Vaughn married the love of his life, Florine Hamilton, on September 20, 1952 and they spent 64 years of their lives together. Starting out with 20 dollars in his pocket and a Chevrolet pickup. He continued to trade livestock and land, and together, the couple built several ranches and farms, spanning from Deer Creek Canyon to Salida to Hartsel, the Arkansas Valley, and finally ending up in La Junta. All the while, they brought their four children up and instilled a deep family root.

Primarily focusing on cattle and buffalo, Vaughn also raised several different breeds of horses, but had a specific liking for a good Belgian team. Finding enjoyment with uncommon animals, Vaughn held a wildlife parks license for many years, where he dabbled in several different kinds of exotic animals, such as: bears, African lions, mountain lions, elk, deer, bobcats, zebra, coyotes, wolves, fox, yak, Elands, and Black Buck and always desired to own an elephant, but never got the opportunity to get one. He also liked his birds, which included: ostrich, emu, pheasants of all kind, peacocks, fancy chickens, and pigeons.

Although he was keen on ranching and auctions, Vaughn loved his family most of all and liked to be surrounded by his loved ones.

Vaughn is survived by his wife Florine and his legacy will carry on through his four children, Chris (Cheri) Downare, Mark (Gail) Downare, Monte (Tracy) Downare, and Becky (Ernie) Heine; his 11 grandchildren; and his 28 great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Phillip and Esther; brother, Richard; sister, Lorna; and his son Mark.

Funeral services for Vaughn will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, March 17, 2017 at the United Methodist Church, 546 Locust Ave in Las Animas, Colorado with Pastor Ken West officiating. There will be a reception immediately following at the VFW Post #2411 in Las Animas. A graveside service will be held at the Family Memorial on his ranch in Hartsel, Colorado on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 11 a.m. with Pastor Ed Shirley officiating. There will be a luncheon following the interment service.

Memorial contributions may be made to Arkansas Valley Hospice in care of Horber Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 431 Las Animas, C0 81054.

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