Malcolm Vail

Vail, Malcolm "Weed' D.

Malcolm "Weed" D. Vail, Jr. (94) of Geneva, Ill. and recently of Sister Bay, Wis., passed away peacefully at Good Samaritan Society Scandia Village, on Nov. 19. He was born in Chicago in 1919, the second of three children of Malcolm D. Vail, Sr. and Margaret Nye Vail and was preceded in death by his parents, sister (Katherine Vail Sturgis), and brother (Henry "Budge" S. Vail). He lived most of his life in Geneva, Ill., with his wife, Elizabeth "Betty" Higgins Vail and three daughters. He attended Lake Forest Academy, Deerfield Academy and graduated from Cornell University in 1941. After serving as a Naval officer in the Pacific in World War II, Malcolm worked with his father at H.S. Vail & Sons Insurance and then Northwestern Mutual.

Among his many interests was his passion for sailing. Weed was an avid sailor and participated in numerous Mackinac races. In Ephraim, Wis., where he spent his summers, he was a five -term Commodore of the Ephraim Yacht Club. He shared his love of sailing with many generations, young and old. He was a member of the Ephraim Foundation for which he gave walking tours and was instrumental in donating the Vail Civil War Collection to the Foundation in 2011. Weed was chosen to be Fyr Ball Chieftan in 2009. He and Betty were members of St. Luke's Episcopal Church of Sister Bay and attended the Church of Atonement in Fish Creek, for many summers. He also loved to walk and was often seen around Ephraim and Geneva with his faithful dog Oreo.

In Geneva he was involved in the Geneva Golf Club, the Cancer Society, on the Board of Delnor Hospital, and was a member and sang in the choir of St. Mark's Episcopal Church. They moved to Scandia Village in 2011, leaving many wonderful friends and memories of their blessed lives in Geneva.

He is survived by his beloved wife (married 71 years) Betty; his three daughters, Leslie Vail Harsch (Roy), Geneva, Ill.; Frances E. Vail, Northbrook, Ill.; and Sarah Vail Birkinbine (John), Northfield, Ill.; his four grandchildren, Christopher (Cristina) Vieau, Deborah Vieau (Edwin) Cange, Malcolm "Skip" Harsch, Kris (Kevin) Birkinbine Kelly; and his six great-grandchildren, Cheyenne and Cayman Vieau, Eddie and Sophie Cange; Ryan and Erin Kelly; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Donations can be made to the Ephraim Yacht Club, the Ephraim Foundation or Good Samaritan Society Scandia Village.

A memorial celebration will be held next summer in Ephraim.

Online registration may be offered at

Funeral Home

Casperson Funeral Home
10708 North Bay Shore Drive Sister Bay, WI 54234

Published in Door County Advocate on Nov. 23, 2013