Margaret A. Newcomb Vail
March 26, 1923 ‒ June 26, 2019
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 SnyderFuneralHomes.com