LITTLE FALLS – The Rev. Thomas J. Vail, went home to his Lord and Savior at the age of 92, on Monday morning, April 22, 2019, just after the Easter Holiday in Little Falls, New York, with the love and support of his family at his bedside. A most sincere and special thank you is extended by the family to the Little Falls Hospital staff of doctors, nurses and caregivers for their professional and compassionate care shown to Father Vail and his family. It is deeply appreciated and will forever be remembered.
Father Vail was born January 21, 1927, in Little Falls, New York, a son of the late Mr. & Mrs. Maurice and Hazel (Chadwick) Vail. He attended St. Mary’s Academy, in Little Falls, where he graduated in 1943. After eight years of study at St. Andrew’s Seminary in Rochester, New York, and St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, New York, he was ordained to the priesthood on May 19, 1951, by Bishop Edmund Gibbons in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, in Albany, New York.
After a year as assistant pastor in St. Mary’s Parish in Gloversville, New York, Father Vail was selected to serve as Professor at the new seminary, Mater Christi, in Albany, New York. It was planned to prepare young men to the priesthood. After two years of study in Rome, Italy, where he did further studies in Latin and Greek at the Gregorian University and the University of Rome, Father Vail returned to teach for fifteen years at Mater Christi Seminary.
When Bishop Edmund Broderick was installed as the new Bishop of the Albany Diocese in May of 1969, Father Vail was appointed his secretary and assistant Vicar General of the Diocese. He served in that office until 1973 when he was appointed Pastor of St. Gabriel’s Parish in Rotterdam. He served there until March of 1984 when he was named Pastor of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Saratoga Springs, New York. In January of 1993, Father Vail retired and moved to his family home in Little Falls where he has served in many parishes within the region.
He is survived by his brother, Maurice Vail, who resides in Bay Village, Ohio; his sisters, Sr. Kathleen Vail, C.S.J., who resides in Latham, New York and Joan Vogt, who resides in Little Falls, New York; and his brother-in-law, William Gressler, who resides in Little Falls, New York. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his brother, Richard Vail; his sister, Kathleen Gressler; sister-in-law, Mary Vail; and brother-in-law, Edwin Vogt.
A Funeral Mass of Resurrection will be Celebrated at the Holy Family Parish Church, corner of East Main & John Streets in Little Falls, New York, on Saturday morning, April 27, 2019, at 9:30 AM. Family, friends and parishioners alike are all invited to attend. The family will acknowledge those in attendance with a receiving line in front of the church at the conclusion of Mass. His final resting place will then be honored within his family plot at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Town of Herkimer, New York.
Those wishing are asked to consider a donation in memory of Father Thomas Vail to the Holy Family Parish in Little Falls, New York. There will be a table specifically available at the Mass on Saturday for this opportunity. Envelopes are always available as well by contacting the Parish or the Enea Family Funeral Home.
Father Vail’s wishes have been carried out with the assistance of The Enea Family Funeral Home, 24 West Monroe Street, Little Falls, New York, Funeral Directors Harry J. & Kevin E. Enea and Martin L. Ciaccia (315) 823-2424. An online tribute has been established at www.eneafamily.com where visitors may pay tribute to his legacy with memories and messages to his family.
On the day of his first mass, Father Vail offered this prayer. May it follow him to eternal life:
“Only pray for me, that God would
give me both inward and outward
strength, that I may not only say, but
do; that I may not only be called
priest, but be found one.”