He was born in Burlington, Vt., to James Robert and Helen (Korpi) Vail.
After graduating from the Coast Guard Academy with the class of 1972, he served on active duty in Alaska, Boston, New Hampshire, Port Angeles, Hawaii and Washington, D.C. In later years, he was a correspondent for the Coast Guard Alumni Association.
Capt. Vail married Michele ``Mickie'' Jaissle in Hudson, Mass., on Nov. 9, 1975.
In Port Angeles, he was an instructor in the Work First program at Peninsula College as well as a rotating Issues of Faith columnist for Peninsula Daily News on behalf of Olympic Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, of which he was past president.
Capt. Vail was convener of the Port Angeles Association of Religious Communities and a member of the North Olympic Land Trust.
In 1999, he became a member of the Clallam County Planning Commission, for which he was chairman in 2001.
Capt. Vail enjoyed biking, kayaking, camping in his "Cow" or "Cabin on Wheels" which he called his Airstream trailer and walking his property with his 11 month old Springer Spaniel, Finnlet, which brought him great joy as did his many friends.
Survivors include his wife; parents of Bondville, Vt., parents-in-law Frederick C. and M. Dorothy Jaissle of York, Maine; brother and sister-in-law Ted and Joanne Vail of Casco, Maine; sister Debbie Zolnoski of Templeton, Calif.; sister and brother-in-law Irene and Richard Kreissle of Keene, N.H.; brother-in-law Mick Zolnoski of Port Angeles and niece and nephew Laura and Joe Zolnoski.
Services: Celebration of life to be announced. Drennan-Ford Funeral Home, Port Angeles, is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials: Donations to Olympic Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, P.O. Box 1264, Port Angeles, WA 98362; or charity of choice. The family requests no flowers.