Brendan Vaughan: Life Is for the Living

Every now and then you meet someone who touches your life in ways that you cannot describe. Brendan Vaughan was such a person.

An outstanding athlete, teacher, parent and friend, Brendan Vaughan was one of a kind.

Kitch and I met Brendan in 1999, and we became fast friends. He came to America to participate in the Irish Teachers Program sponsored by King’s College. We were volunteers determined to record the special moments of the visit for John and Peg McKeown. Little did we know when we met the teachers in July that we would be blessed by the friendship and kindness of Brendan.

Quiet and very unassuming by nature, Brendan was a natural born leader. He was tall in stature and born with a welcoming face that looked like the map of Ireland. He had a beautiful smile and honest eyes that made you feel very much at home whenever you were with him.

In August 1999, Kitch and I were on our way to Ireland. A chance meeting with Brendan at the Newark Airport changed our lives forever.

He invited us to meet him in Clare, and we accepted.

Together we toured a stone age fort, Dromoland Castle, Quin Abbey and other points of interest in Clare. We attended a wonderful recital of traditional Irish music orchestrated by Deirdre Vaughan. We talked about education with Brendan’s daughter, Caoilfhionn.

Our memories of these experiences are filled with scenes of affirmation, encouragement, friendship, generosity and loyalty that one thinks only exist in novels.

To us, Brendan was a giant of a man in all the ways that matter, and word of his passing left an indelible mark of loss on our hears and souls. If ever there was a person who lived the spirit of Windsor Park, it was Brendan Vaughan.

The interview for this special episode of Windsor Park Stories was recorded during Brendan’s last visit to the United States in 2003. We dedicate this episode to Brendan, and we give it as a gift to his wife and children. It is our attempt to capture the essence of the man. It is an impossible task because, to us, Brendan was larger than life

We call this episode Brendan Vaughan: Life Is for the Living, because Brendan spoke those consoling words to us during his last visit to Windsor Park. That advice helped us to see the light during a very challenging time. That advice helped us to better understand what really matters in life. That advice speaks volumes about the goodness of the man we loved.

Without question, Brendan Vaughan was one of the most wonderful people we have ever met, and we doubt that we will ever see his equal again.

Tony & Kitch Mussari
Producers: Windsor Park Stories


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