Brian L. Vail
November 19, 1951 ‒ March 03, 2015
Formerly of Mount Gilead, Ohio
An inspiration to all, Brian L. Vail’s earthly chains were lifted on Tuesday afternoon, March 3, 2015, at Riverside Methodist Hospital with his loving family by his side following a courageous 19 year battle with ALS. He was 63 years old.
On November 19, 1951, Brian was born in Galion, Ohio, the youngest of three sons of the Mary Jane (Williams) Vail and the late Alan Vail. He was raised in Mount Gilead, where he graduated from Mount Gilead High School in the class of 1970.
Furthering his education, Brian studied at Columbus Technical Institute and later graduated from Otterbein College in 1974.
Shortly following graduation from college, Brian married his high school sweetheart, Darlene Dixon, on July 27, 1974. Together they raised their two children, Cherry and Benjamin, and they have always been the apples of his eye.
After working as a realtor for 11 years, Brian officially started Vail Realty in 1987. Despite his physical limitations, he never stopped working in real estate, and was honored when both Darlene and his son, Benjamin, carried on their family brokerage firm. He worked as a realtor for over 39 years, and was still helping Ben find good deals until just a few months ago. He also started two businesses in Mount Gilead, assisting Darlene with their “Just Looking” Women’s Clothing Boutique in Mount Gilead for 8 years, and starting BJ’s Drive Thru on South Main St.
Brian had been a member of the First Presbyterian Church, where he served as a trustee and deacon. He also was proud to start and coordinate a children’s choir there at the church. He was a member of the Morrow County, State of Ohio, and National Boards of Realtors. He was a past president of the Morrow County Chamber of Commerce, the Mount Gilead Jaycees, and had been a soccer and little league coach. In 2007, Brian was honored to receive the Dr. Nathan Tucker Award of Excellence for his service to the Morrow County community.
Having a lifelong passion for music, Brian enjoyed playing in several local bands while growing up. He played the keyboard, and was often the lead singer. Music was something that could never be taken away from Brian, and he cherished the playlists his daughter made for him.
Brian had a great sense of humor, and always loved to tell a good joke. He had a fun loving personality, and you could always see the mischievous and orneriness in his eyes.
With a love for traveling, Brian often took trips that centered around some type of adventure, with snorkeling and skiing being two of his favorites. Brian and Darlene especially had a fondness for Cancun.
Brian made the most of every situation…he always persevered. One of the best words to describe Brian was that he was determined. Through each step of his life he was determined to excel, from school to realty, to being a father, to giving back to his community, to seeing his daughter walk down the aisle, to beating ALS. He never conceded to anything, especially ALS.
Left to cherish his memory are his children: Cherry (Jonathan) Gomez-Rivera of San Antonio, Texas, and Benjamin (fiancé Christina Long) Vail of Columbus; his mother, Mary Jane Vail of Delaware; former wife, Darlene (Gary Eckert) Vail of Lexington; two brothers: James Vail of Centerville, and Richard Vail of Delaware; and several nieces and nephews.
Including his father, Brian was preceded in death by an infant sister, Jennifer Vail.
His family will greet friends from 4 – 7 p.m. on Friday, at the Snyder Funeral Home, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mount Gilead. Services celebrating his life will also be held there at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, with Rev. Deborah Bowsher serving as master of ceremonies. Burial will follow in Rivercliff Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Brian L. Vail Memorial Fund, the use will be for either a Morrow County community cause or for an ALS family in need. They may be sent to the care of the funeral home.
His family would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to all of the caring staff at Bennington Glen Assisted Living Center, who tended to his every need and who became a second family for him.
Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to have been chosen to serve Brian’s family and your condolences may be expressed to them by visiting www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.