Man's dying words in refinery blast still shape his family

BEAUMONT, Texas (KTRK) -- The family of a man who died because of a refinery explosion in Beaumont 62 years ago still lives by his dying words.

The event still haunts Bobby Vaughan.

"My daddy was burnt to pieces," Vaughan recalled. On April 21, 1957, his father Ed got trapped inside a Magnolia oil explosion.

"His ears were gone," Vaughan recalled. "His hair was gone."

It happened on Easter Sunday. This Easter marks the first time the holiday falls on April 21 since the tragic explosion.

"I try to put this as far out of my mind as I can," Vaughan said.

Vaughan said his father and another man were inside the plant when it caught fire.

"He was burnt to hell and back," Vaughan said.

As he lay dying, Vaughan says his father told them to meet him in Heaven.

"You don't make good men," Vaughan said. "They're born good."

The sentence is etched into Vaughan's tombstone at Magnolia Cemetery. Dying words that resonate with his grandson, Kenny Vaughan.

"To me, it's just a real courageous statement," Kenny said. "It adds up to everything I heard about him. So, yeah, he'll be the first person I look for when I get to Heaven."

Vaughan included the message in the book he wrote, "The Right Fight: How to Live a Loving Life."

"In a lot of ways, I feel like I know him," Vaughan said. "Maybe through my parents, but he left a strong, loving legacy for our family."

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