After he retired from his family construction firm in Riverton in 1974, Edwin S. McVaugh and his wife, Mary Beth, began annual round-trip drives to Valdez, Alaska, to fish.
"It gave their lives a kind of order," their son Robert said. "They loved fishing together.
"On the way each year," he said, "they would drive from lake to lake, all the way." And if no fish at one, on to the next, always headed to Valdez.
In 1991, Mr. McVaugh won the grand prize - to be valued at $15,000 in 2017 - at an annual salmon derby, landing a silver salmon weighing 17 pounds, 5 ounces. The trips continued through 2003.
"He had a great time" on his adventures, his son said. At home or on the road, "he believed in having a great time."
On Monday, Dec. 12, Mr. McVaugh, 99, former co-owner of McVaugh Construction Co. in Riverton and a former councilman there in the 1960s, died at the retirement community Medford Leas.
Born in Riverton, Mr. McVaugh studied at Westfield Friends School in Cinnaminson, graduated from Moorestown Friends School, and earned his high school diploma at George School in Newtown, Bucks County.
In the 1950s and into the 1960s at both Westfield and George, he was a member of the school committee, the Quaker equivalent of the board of trustees, his son said.
Mr. McVaugh's father, Jack, founded the construction firm before World War II, but "he did not do well," grandson Robert said, and so Robert's father grew mushrooms and drove them to a Philadelphia wholesaler.
"During the Depression," his son said, Mr. McVaugh worked as a parking lot attendant and a mason, "always looking for work to get the family through the tough times."
During World War II, he was an Army Air Corps mechanic and, at a military base in Amarillo, Texas, taught servicemen to maintain bombers.
After the war, Mr. McVaugh combined with his brother, Jack, to bring the family building firm to life and made it "a full-blown construction company."
The brothers "did some construction for Campbell's, for orchards in Burlington County," and, he said, "lots of work for schools." Mr. McVaugh sold his share to his brother when he retired in 1974.
In 1988, Edwin and Mary Beth McVaugh moved to Medford Leas, where in 2004 they celebrated their 60th anniversary with a dinner for friends and family numbering close to 20.
To celebrate their 50th in 1994, they had rented a 34-foot boat in Juneau, Alaska, and taken their children and families on a sightseeing trip along the Alaskan coast.
"It was a great trip," Robert said.
Besides his son, Mr. McVaugh is survived by daughter Judith Hershkowitz, son Edwin S. Jr., five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. His wife died in 2009.
A memorial was set from 2 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 22, at Medford Leas, 1 Medford Leas Way.
Donations may be sent to www.westfieldfriends.org.
Condolences may be offered to the family at lewisfuneralhomemoorestown.com.