Alfred Dean Vail
Alfred Dean Vail

July 12, 1927 - November 3, 2017
Born in Medina, NY
Resided in Northglenn, Colorado
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Alfred Dean Vail, 90, passed away peacefully on November 3rd, 2017 in Northglenn, Colorado. He was born July 12th, 1927 in Medina, NY to Clarence Dean Vail and Berenice Ellicott Vail.

Alfred grew up in a rural area of the Shelby Township in western NY. He graduated from Medina High School in 1945 and went on to the University of Colorado in Boulder. It is there he found his place amongst the mountains and skiing.

Over next few years Al was out west alternating working and skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho and working a variety of jobs in several western states. In Seattle, while at Boeing, they sent him to school and taught him the skills of a draftsman.

In early 1954, Al got homesick, and returned to Medina, NY. In the summer of 1954, Al met Ruth Ann Myers when they were both invited to a stock car race by Al’s neighbors, who were Ruth’s aunt and uncle.

Alfred fell in love with Ruth and they were married on July 3rd, 1955 in Millville, NY. Al and Ruth immediately went west to Sun Valley, Idaho, where, the following spring, their son Michael was born. Within a year, they moved to Colorado to raise their family. While living in Denver, their sons James and Richard were born. They moved to the then new suburb of Northglenn in 1962 where their son Thomas was born. They raised their boys in the same Northglenn home where they have lived for the past 55 years.

It could easily be said that Alfred loved airplanes, automobiles and skiing. Al’s fascination with flight spanned everything from the first Wright Flyer, to the Spirit of Saint Louis, to the Space Shuttle. He would take any occasion to “go up” with a friend, or spend much time helping with their home-built. Al’s career life was certainly based on things that flew. He owned many automobiles. From his first 1948 Plymouth, to the Volkswagens and Porsches of his later adult years, Al could often be found tinkering, driving, or even racing his cars. As a fan of auto racing, he would watch races from all over the world, on weekends, or sometimes in the middle of the night. He drove a ’71 VW Bug over 300,000 miles as he commuted to his job across town, or up to a ski hill. Alfred’s love for skiing began as a young man at Berthoud Pass, Thanksgiving Day 1945, and remained a driving force that shaped his life, and that of his family’s. He loved Eldora Ski Area, and it became a place of many family memories and influential events. He skied until he was 84.

And if you didn’t know he liked all these things all you had to do was look around his house. He had car magazines, airplane magazines, and ski magazines. He would read them all many times. He cut out many articles and perfectly indexed them and filed them all away in a large filing cabinet in the basement.

Alfred was very handy and built, fixed, and repaired many things. Around his house he did many projects to improve his home, rebuilding every square inch at least twice over the years. He was always practical and extremely detailed in his work. He had a Corvair Greenbrier van which he converted to the family’s camp mobile complete with a sleeper tent on top.

Alfred worked as an engineer in the aerospace industry primarily for Stanley Aviation and Martin Marietta in the Denver Area. The aerospace industry had it’s up and down years. During the down years Dad took on jobs with smaller companies to care for his family. At one time he was a mechanic at a local VW dealer.
Alfred was preceded in death by his son, James Andrew Vail (1974) and his older brother, Homer Lee Vail (1971).

Alfred is survived by his bride of 62 years, Ruth Ann Vail, his sons Michael (JoAnn) Vail, Richard (Carolyn) Vail, and Thomas (Nancy) Vail. Six grandchildren, Christopher Vail, Jennifer Vail, Ryan (Jenny) Vail, Melissa Vail, and Nancy’s children Vaughn, and Kristen. One great grandchild Eric Vail. He is also survived by his sister Virginia Janda.

A Memorial service will be held at 12:00 noon on Saturday November 11th, 2017 at Northglenn United Methodist Church, 1605 W 106th Ave. Northglenn, CO 80234. Following the service, friends and family are invited to stay for a light reception.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a memorial donation to one of the following:
LERT (Lake Eldora Racing Team Association)
1750-1 30th Street, #431
Boulder, CO 80301
Please indicate that this is for the "Al Vail Legacy Fund"

Compassionate Hospice Care
11935 Quay Street
Broomfield, CO 80020
Please indicate that this is for the "Al Vail Memorial Fund"

Please share your memories of Alfred and condolences with his family in the Guestbook below.




Memorial Service
Northglenn United Methodist Church
1605 W. 106th Avenue
Northglenn, CO US 80234
Saturday, November 11, 2017
12:00 PM