Robert W. "Bob" Vail | Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel

February 1, 1962 - June 15, 2021

Robert “Bob” Vail was born on February 1, 1962 to Glenn and Adella Vail of Richfield, MN. He was the loving and beloved brother of Barbara and Clayton (Marcia) Vail and the uncle to Jessica (Paul) Sauer and Rebecca (fiancé, Nick Hey) Marlette and Matthew and Andrew Vail; along with six great-nieces and nephews.

Bob was a member of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, where he was baptized and confirmed.

Following graduation from Richfield High School and attending Community College, Bob began his career as a flight attendant for approximately 35 years, spending most of his career with Northwest/Delta Airlines. He loved traveling to many parts of the globe, meeting people and learning their cultures. Through his work he made many dear and lasting friends.
After living in Orlando, Florida for 20 years, Bob moved back to Richfield, where he enjoyed the more moderate climate and the outdoor activities the Minneapolis area.

Our family truly appreciates the support given to Bob and them by his many good friends and co-workers during his illness.
In addition, Bob leaves behind his loving dog and companion, Lola.

Bob was a sweet and gentle soul, a loving son, brother and friend. He will be missed. Yet we celebrate his continued life in Christ, and look forward to the Day of Resurrection.

Memorials preferred to the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund through American Cancer Society or Minnesota Humane Society.


  1. Teresa peterson says:

    As a Northwest/Delta flight attendant, I had the opportunity to work with Bob on s few overseas flights. He was wonderful to work with. Kind and generous; he never ever got ruffled. May he Rest In Peace. I offer my condolences to Bob’s family and friends, who I’m sure will miss him greatly.

  2. Lance Evans says:

    Bob was my cousin, he will be missed by all who knew him. May he Rest In Peace!

  3. Jo Elias and Tracie Myers says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Bob was such a kind person. Tracie and I enjoyed our over the fence visits with our good neighbor Bob. I will miss our visits with Bob and seeing his friendly smiles. I am so sorry for all those who knew Bob we are losing are losing a very kind person. Heaven as gained a very kind angle❤️

  4. Deb Thirkelson says:

    My heart breaks for the passing of my dear friend and coworker both at the airlines and Newcomer funeral home. Barb and Clayton, and other family members and his many friends will miss Bob so very much. Rest In Peace my dear friend. I’ll see you again. Love you, Deb

  5. Kathleen Herald says:

    Sending love and prayers to the family of Bob. I had the pleasure of flying with him at Northwest and Delta…We had a blast and he had a wonderful sense of humor…Now there is no more pain you sweet man…may you rest in peace

  6. Joan McBrien says:

    We met Bob through our son, Tom McBrien. We came to think of him as part of our family.
    He was a kind, caring, funny and a very loving man. He will be missed by so many. He touched
    many lives who are the better for knowing him. Looking forward to meeting again where pain
    and sorrow are gone. Love you, dearest Bobbie.

  7. Tom McBrien says:

    Where do I begin…
    I feel his loss incredibly. I am so very sad, as is Corey.

    I truly have a hole in my heart, my tears keep coming.

    We loved Bob so much, I was so happy when he wanted to move back from Florida to his hometown, Richfield.

    I helped him shop for a house and was so excited when he chose a beautiful place in Richfield.

    I got him back and we’re nearly neighbors.

    Over the past 4 years we grew even closer.
    I told Bobby everything. He was my confidant, my bestie, and my partner in crime.

    We had so many plans for the future.

    It hurts like hell to loss him and It will take me a while to grieve.

    I thank his fabulous siblings, Barb and Clayton who have done an incredible service to Bob.

    He was so well cared for and looked after by them.

    His many friends and loved ones are a testament to who Bob was and the legacy he leaves us.

    A giving and loyal friend, a loving brother and devoted son.

    We will miss you my sweet man, your memories and your kind heart will always be an inspiration. I love you so very much!


    • Jennie Kulzer says:

      Tom, Bob was so blessed to have your friendship in his life. He always talked about you and Corey, and I am for one, so grateful that you were there for him. Please keep in touch.
      Jennie Kulzer

  8. Guy Bosworth says:

    Bob and I were part of the same group of friends from American Trans Air who shared our lives together in Orlando. He was a sweet and kind man. We all spent countless days and nights at Bobs, swimming in his pool, eating and laughing together. His dedication to his family and especially to his mother was truly admirable. His passing is a true loss. Gone too soon. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to be at the service. My thoughts and prayers are with all of his family and friends.

  9. Tony Sgro says:

    A very kind, generous and loving man that I had the honor to meet and get to know. It seems like such a short time that we had him here in Minnesota. But I have fond memories of the backyard gatherings at Tom and Corey’s as well as birthday parties and other celebrations that Bob would attend. He always had a funny story to tell to get us all laughing. He will be greatly missed. My deepest condolences to his family.

  10. Christine Steeb Gauss says:

    I had the good fortune of working with Bob at ATA Airlines. We were based in Detroit. He was wonderful to fly with kind, gracious, professional and fun. His ATA family thought the world of Bob and we are all deeply saddened to learn to his passing. The last time I saw Bob was a halloween party in Orlando many years ago. He was still the great guy he always was. My condolences to his family and dear friends.

  11. Jeff Ertl says:

    Dear Bob,
    I’m grateful for your friendship even tough it’s been a short 4 years since you came back home to Richfield.

    Thanks for a great day and evening in Amsterdam with you, Tom, Lynn and Jim.

    See you on the other side, Jeff Ertl

  12. Jose Casas says:

    Barb and Clayton, we extend our deepest condolences to you both. Our hearts our broken here in Orlando. Bob spent almost 12 years working part time alongside us at Newcomer Funeral Home, East Orlando Chapel. He was kind, gentle and very caring; always a dedicated worker and a friend to all. He and I became close friends. We have kept in touch even after he moved back home. I am going to miss him greatly. On behalf of myself, the directors and staff at Newcomer Funeral Home, East Orlando Chapel, We Love You Bob! Until we meet again my dear friend.

  13. Bonnie says:

    Rest In Peace Bob.

  14. Jennie Kulzer says:

    Bob was absolutely the kindest person you could ever HOPE to meet. He was a lover of life, and all the experiences life had to offer. I first met Bob around 7 years ago, and immediately we created a bond. If it was discussing a recipe, or finding a new restaurant to try on a layover, he was game. Bob loved all things Minnesota! He loved the weather, the people and quality of life that living in Minnesota offered. Mostly Bob loved friendships, and the bonds created when you allowed someone into your life. He was truly a wonderful friend, and knew that even when obligations got in the way, it was always easy to pick right back up where you left off. When he moved back to Minnesota, he was so happy. I hate the trials he endured with his battle against cancer, and was always amazed at his attitude. Never one to give up, he faced it head on and tried to find a way through, all with an amazing attitude. The last year with the pandemic has made everything hard, but especially having the opportunity to see the loved ones who are not near by. Bob will be missed, but more importantly he will be remembered. He was such a kind soul, and every time I am trying to decide on the right recipe…I know Bob will be there giving me his thoughts.
    I am sending heartfelt prayers and love to his family and friends there today to share and remember him. I wish I could be there to take part, please know he will not be forgotten, and will be remembered as a dear friend, mentor, and a TRUE GEM!!

  15. Kim Kuhlmeyer says:

    I was so lucky to fly with Bob and immediately thought…what a fun, cool guy!!! He was funny and kind and so great! I’m so saddened to know that he is gone too soon. May he be at peace and may all the many great memories so many of us have of him make us smile whenever we recall the good times. Love you Bob!!!

  16. perry smaglik says:

    I was went to high School with Bob and confirmation
    He was always happy and smiling very positive guy
    Have not seen him for a long time decades ago at a class reunion and it was really nice to talk to him.

    Very sad to see that has passed away

    would have been nice to cross paths in our retirement years
    If I had read this earlier I would have went to the funeral

  17. John Manthey says:

    I was a teacher at East Junior High during the time that Bob was a student. I am very sorry to hear about Bob’s death. I enjoyed many conversations with Bob during the time he was a student at East. One of the things I especially recall about Bob was his dream to, some day, have a career in the airline industry. I recall a number of years ago when my wife and I flew on a charter to Las Vegas and Bob was one of the flight attendants. I am glad to hear that Bob’s wish to be involved in aviation was fulfilled. God Bless you, Bob.

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