1922 – 2014
AUBURN — Robert Baldwin Vail, 91, of Auburn and formerly of Falmouth, died Thursday, Jan. 30.
He was born in Randolph, Vt., on Dec. 16, 1922, the son of H. Jackson and Hallie B. Vail. One of four brothers, he lived in Falmouth, where he graduated from Falmouth High School in the Class of 1940.
Bob graduated from Bates College in 1948, and received his master’s degree in education from the University of Maine in 1951. He was a teacher, coach and principal in Waitesfield, Vt., and served several years as superintendent in southern Vermont. He was director of teacher certification for the state of Vermont and was acting director of special education for the state of Maine. He also served on the Auburn School Board for two terms and earlier, he served as director of the Joslin Clinic for Diabetics.
An avid bird hunter and lover of English setters, Bob had many English setters through the years and raised many litters. It was not unusual for him to have three dogs at a time. His last setter, his beloved dog, Hallie, died less than a month ago.
During World War II, Bob served in the U.S. Air Corps, stationed in England. As a technical sergeant, he was a radio operator/gunner, flying in a B17 in raids over Germany. On his 18th flight, his plane was shot down. Several of the crew were killed, but Bob and the remainder of the crew were interned in Switzerland as POWs for the remainder of the war.
He is survived by his brothers, Jackson B. Vail of Bedford, N.H., and H. Theodore Vail and his wife, Dolores, of Falmouth. Bob has lived for more than 30 years with his lifelong friend, Donald Nason, in Auburn, who also survives him. Another brother, Thomas E. Vail, is deceased, as are his sisters-in-law, Helen P. Vail and Elizabeth S. Vail. He is survived by many nieces and nephews, who always enjoyed his unique sense of humor.
Please visit www.advantageportland.com to sign Bob’s guest book and to leave condolences for his family.