Henry Omer Vail, 95, of South Coffeyville, Oklahoma passed away on Friday, May 31, 2019 at Windsor Place in Coffeyville, Kansas.
Henry was born on August 22, 1923 in Mound Valley, Kansas to Claude and Helena (Bruhn) Vail. He grew up in Mound Valley where he attended elementary school. He graduated from Labette County Community High School in 1937. He furthered his education with Defense Training from LCCHS in 1941.
On March 4, 1943 Henry enlisted in the U. S. Army during World War II. During his enlistment he was stationed with the 555th AAA (Anti-Aircraft Artillery) Battalion to fight in the “Battle of the Bulge”. He proudly served until his honorable discharge on January 3, 1946. In his later years, Henry was able to attend two of the reunions the 555th Battalion held; the most recent he had the pleasure of attending was in 2009. On February 11, 1950 he enlisted into the U. S. Air Force as a member of the Air National Guard. On January 28, 1952 he was honorably discharged from the military.
He was united in marriage to Margaret Louise Todd in Independence, Kansas. Of that union two children were born. The couple later divorced. On November 3, 2003, he married Frances A. Murray in Miami, Oklahoma. Following their marriage they made their home in rural South Coffeyville, Oklahoma. She preceded him in death on March 14, 2017.
In 1946 he moved to Wichita, Kansas where he worked as an auto mechanic. In 1957 he became the owner of a full service filling station in Wichita. His children recalled how before he had help he was very busy and it had been hard for him at times to run the station by himself; along with raising his two children.
In 1965 Henry decided to change career paths and received the education he needed to become a Water Treatment Plant Operator. He began at the water treatment plant in Independence, Kansas then later worked for the Lake Mead Water Plant outside of Boulder City, Nevada until his retirement in 1991.
After retiring he returned to southeast Kansas, living in rural Coffeyville, Kansas where he opened his own small engine repair business working mostly on riding lawn mowers which was primarily his area of expertise.
Henry loved his family. He did a wonderful job of staying in close touch with his grandchildren and great grandchildren who he adored. He also enjoyed going to the stock car races in South Coffeyville, Oklahoma, traveling, fishing, bingo and going to the casinos.
He is survived by his children, Glenn Vail and wife, Alberta in Wichita, Kansas, Linda Musgrove and husband, Eugene of San Antonio, Texas; grandchildren, Tyron Fuller of Wichita, Kansas, Cameron Musgrove and wife, Maryellen of Bixby, Oklahoma, Grant Musgrove and wife, Julie of San Antonio, Texas; great grandchildren, Robyn Law and husband, Kyle of San Antonio, Texas, Holly, Jack and Keith Musgrove of Bixby, Oklahoma, Gavin and Jaxon Musgrove of San Antonio, Texas; great granddaughter, Ember Law of San Antonio, Texas; sister, Arlene Johnson of Hemet, California; sister-in-law, Lois Vail of Mound Valley, Kansas along with many cousins, nieces, nephews and close friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Claude and Helena Vail; wife, Frances Vail; brother, Raymond Vail and brother-in-law, Elmar Johnson.
Graveside Services will be held on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Patio in Fairview Cemetery in Coffeyville, Kansas. Military Honors will be conducted the U.S. Army Fort Riley, KS. Burial will be at Restlawn Memorial Park Cemetery.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 from 12:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at David W. Barnes Funeral Home in Coffeyville, Kansas. The family will greet friends on Tuesday evening at the funeral home from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
The family suggests in lieu of flowers memorials can be made to Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice in Coffeyville; contributions can be left with the funeral home or mailed in care of David W. Barnes Funeral Home 306 N Cline, Coffeyville, Kansas 67337.
David W. Barnes Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
To leave a message for the family online, visit www.dwbfh.com