Margaret A. Newcomb Vail

March 26, 1923 ‒ June 26, 2019

Lexington, Ohio

Margaret A. Newcomb Vail passed away peacefully Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Liberty Nursing Center surrounded by her family. She was 96.

She was born March 26, 1923, to parents Cecil & Maude (Spearing) Newcomb in Cambridge, Nova Scotia, Canada. Margaret attended school in a one-room schoolhouse in Cambridge before moving to Halifax where she graduated from High School.

On September 27, 1942, she married Nelson H. Vail, then a Medic in the Royal Canadian Navy and stationed at the Naval Hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They spent 47 wonderful years together until he passed away in 1990.

Margaret’s careers spanned 60 years and incorporated quite a variety of positions. At the age of 18, Margaret finished her high school education while working as a gas station attendant in Halifax, pumping gas, changing oil, checking batteries and tires. At the age of 78, she sold her computer software business in London, Ontario and retired. For the years in between, she worked in a vast array of businesses as an accountant, office manager, secretary/treasurer, bookkeeper and administrative assistant to name a few. Her position at the Naval Armament Depot in Halifax during the war involved ordering armaments and supplies for warships that came into Halifax harbor for outfitting. Following multiple relocations around Canada, a variety of different jobs and 7 children later, she and her family landed in Lombard, Illinois where she was bookkeeper /office manager for the McDonalds Research and Development Lab in Addison, Ill during its’ early franchise development years. She was frequently a guinea pig for taste testing new recipes for French fries, milkshakes, etc. which would soon go out to the Golden Arches franchises around the country. Her final career was to be founder and President of Computerized Office Services, Inc., a computer software company in London, Ontario, that provided payroll and accounting services to small businesses. Somehow throughout all of the home, family and job responsibilities, Margaret managed to learn French and Hebrew and became a certified Masters-level graphoanalyist (handwriting analysis). She had her own weekly newspaper column called “Secrets in Scribbles”, and was often employed by the courts to assist in determining innocence or guilt for forgery cases. She was a consultant for human resource departments to provide insight into a persons’suitability for sensitive positions based on her analysis. She lectured, taught classes and provided private analysis for high profile individuals at their request. All of her children, their spouses and most of her grandchildren have enjoyed her feedback on their strengths and challenges based on her study of their handwriting! Her last career accomplishment was, at the age of 92, to author an autobiography titled, “Grandfather’s Canada”.

She is survived by her children Paul (Carolyn) Vail , Merrylee Vail , David (Linda) Vail Ted (Carol) Vail, Dan (Pam) Vail, and; grandchildren Rachel Vail-Wall, Becky LeBlanc, Michael Vail, Sandra Vail Capra, Julie Vail, Stephen Vail, Paul Vail, Barbara Lee Goodman, Natalie Bureau, and James Vail; numerous great-grandchildren; and her sisters Byrne Burgess, and Jean Newcomb.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, her infant daughter BarbaraLee and daughter Diann Vail; siblings Gale (James) Simm, Anne (Enos) Gavel, Howard (Rose Marie) Newcomb, John Newcomb, and Shirley Newcomb.

A memorial service honoring Margaret will be held at the First Church of the Nazarene at 675 Straub Road West on Saturday, July 6 at 11:00 AM.

Margaret will be interred in the HighHead  Cemetery, Cambridge, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Margaret’s family and encourage you to share a fond memory or message of condolence to them at

  • My mother was an amazing woman and a great friend. We enjoyed countless adventures in our lives together and apart, some we volunteered for and others not. She was always a portrait of class rising above drama.
    Her passing was what she aspired to as she was eager to finally be with her Lord. As we mourn she is no doubt enjoying tea and toast with her sisters and brothers and mother.
    She is greatly missed by us yet we can rest assured that she is at peace.

  • Your mother was such a blessing! I so enjoyed knowing her and and her godly wisdom was a great encouragement to all of us at our Wednesday ladies’ Bible study. I loved reading her book too, and learning all of her history, since I only came to know her later in her life. She was such a treasure! Although she is missed, I know she is experiencing great joy in the presence of her Saviour! Our loss is heaven’s gain!

  • Maggie was a blessing and a joy and a true friend. I met Maggie in 1961 and visited at her house frequently when she lived on St James Street in London. We have kept the friendship going for the last 58 years and she has been a tremendous support and encouragement through some challenging times. I am so glad to be celebrating her promoton to glory. She will be seriously and dearly missed. Blessings, love and prayers for all of her family and friends.
    Much love,

  • There are few people I admire more than Margaret. She inspired people no matter what station in life they held no matter who they were they would come to for her wisdom in times of joy and trouble. She accomplished much in her interesting life. Her common sense was welcome and her sense of humour was always something one could count on. I worked with Margaret at Youth For Christ in London Ontario.
    Calm and pleasant Margaret always took time to be patient with people no matter what the situation was and she always knew what was required. Im so grateful our lives intersected and I have missed her since she retired and moved to the U.S. A. I bless the day that she was promoted to Glory and pray we meet again some sweet day. She was unique and I truly loved being with her.. a trustworthy and honourable woman
    I was so grateful to have reconnected with her last year when she came to London for a few days. It was a joy and a pleasure to see her again
    I have a picture of her from that last time together that I treasure . May the blessed peace of God be with you all as you go on without her.