Geoffrey Vail

Obituary of Geoffrey William Gordon Vail

It is with great sadness that the family of Geoffrey William Gordon Vail announces his passing which occurred on April 14, 2020 at the Saint John Regional Hospital following a brief illness.  Born on December 31, 1961 in Saint John, he was the son of  William and Carolyn (Arthurs) Vail. 


Geoffrey was a graduate of Saint John High School class of ’79 and went on to receive his BBA in 1984 and BEd in 1987, both from UNB and attended Université Laval receiving his DFLS in 1988.  Geoff took pride in his 32 years of working as a school teacher and made his mark on the lives of thousands of students at both Saint John High School and Barnhill Memorial. 


Geoff loved his community and was very active with many community organizations including: St. Mark’s Group Committee - Scouts, chairman and member of Belfast Children’s Vacation, board treasurer of Cedar Hill/Greenwood Cemetery and was active with Lancaster Minor Hockey, Saint John Community Hockey/Barnhill School hockey teams and the YMCA, among many others.


In his retirement, Geoff remained active, enjoying the accomplishments of his children, welcoming his four grandchildren and travelling the world with his loving wife.  He continued working as a supply teacher, worked at the Saint John YMCA and travelled the country as a tour guide with Collins Tours.


Geoff was a true family man and treasured the times spent with those he loved.  He looked forward to all family gatherings and will be remembered for his cooking and gracious hosting.  He had a keen interest in genealogy, tracing his Irish ancestry.  He was very proud of his Irish heritage and has made several trips to Northern Ireland to be closer to his roots.


Geoff was predeceased by his grandparents, Gordon and Helen (Armstrong) Vail and Gordon and Beatrice (Laing) Arthurs; as well as his very special aunt, Florence (Vail) Brodie; along with aunt, Mary Lou (Arthurs) Hart, uncle, James Arthurs and his father-in-law, John “Jack” Connell.


He is survived by his loving wife, Jacqueline Connell-Vail of 29 years; his beloved children, Alexandre, Emilie (John), Andrew (Catherine) and Elias Vail, all of Saint John and his chosen son, Brandon Ramey (Natania) of Saskatchewan.  He was Papa to four beautiful grandchildren, Grace, Theodore and Peter Vail and Julia Downing.  Geoff was loved by his mother and father, William and Carolyn (Arthurs) Vail, whom he adored and his only sister, Judith Fox (Michael) and their son, Daniel and several other cherished nieces and nephews.  Geoff is also survived by his mother-in-law, Yvonne Connell; sisters-in-law, Karen Jones (Derek), Colleen Flathers (Wayne) and Jennifer Connell; a very special aunt and uncle, Malcolm and Melvina Vail and many wonderful cousins; his Northern Irish family, especially Frances Duff whom he loved like a sister and many friends.


Geoff had a great sense of humour and a way of making everyone he met feel special.  He had many friends and loved his Barnhill and YMCA coworkers like family.


Geoff will live on in the hearts of the many people he has touched throughout his lifetime.


Due to the current health advisories, a Memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Brenan’s Funeral Home, 111 Paradise Row, Saint John (634-7424).


In lieu of flowers and for those who wish, remembrances may be made to Bobby’s Hospice, the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation or a charity of the donor’s choice.



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