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Robert Baldwin Vail, 91, of Auburn, Maine, died January 30, 2014. He was born in Randolph, Vermont, December 16, 1922, the son of H. Jackson and Hallie B. Vail. One of four brothers, he lived in Falmouth, Maine, where he graduated from Falmouth High School in the Class of 1940.
He is survived by brothers Jackson B. Vail of Bedford, NH, 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 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.
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 of the former high school in Waitsfield, Vermont. Bob lived for more than 20 years in a chalet owned by his good friends, Ike and Trudy Folsom. He was director of teacher certification for the state of Vermont. He also served several years as superintendent in southern Vermont. Following his move to Maine, he was acting director of special education for the state. He served on the Auburn (Maine) School Board for two terms. 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 over 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 before Bob.
During World War II, Bob served in the United States 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.
A memorial service for Bob was held at the Falmouth, Maine, Congregational Church.