Jack David Vail, 79, of Knox City, passed from this world on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Abilene after a stroke. Jack was born on November 5, 1941, in Mound Valley, Kansas, to Harold and Gladys Vail. He lived on a farm in Mound Valley until he graduated from Altamont County High School where he majored in electronics and Wichita Technical School in Kansas.
Jack married Lou Denton on Aug. 1, 1988, in Fort Worth. His specialty became offensive and defensive radars working as an engineer with Boeing, McDonnell-Douglas, General Dynamics Electronics Division, and Bendix Aerospace. He retired from General Dynamics/Lockheed in 2002. He was able to see a lot of the world while upgrading the radar systems of F16’s in U.S. allied countries.
After moving to Knox City, Jack enjoyed working with his Beefmaster cows and calves then switched breeds to Black Angus. He grew rye hay and planted a small fruit orchard and vegetable garden. He loved animals of all kinds except snakes. He paid attention to politics and was a staunch conservative. He was a kind, hard-working, ornery man with a hilarious sense of humor.
Jack is survived by his wife Lou Denton Vail; daughters Kim Vail Morrow (Phillip) of Tulsa, OK, and Tina Vail Slagle (Bobby) of Owasso, OK; granddaughters Kristina Barber Covington (Casey) of Duncan, OK., Karmen Barber Nystrom (Tim) of Phoenix, AZ., Kaley Slagle, Allie Slagle and Zoe Slagle of Owasso, OK; grandsons Phillip A. Morrow (Melissa) of Tulsa, OK., Garrett Morrow of Tulsa, OK; six great grandchildren; Sister Phyllis Vail Grope (Bob) of Fort Worth; sister-in-law Loretta Vail; brothers-in-law A.P. Denton (Kay) of Knox City and Bob Lake (Bertha) of Munday; sisters-in-law Lois Denton Bruton of Abilene, Gay Denton of Flower Mound, and Nancy Denton of Houston; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Jack was pre-deceased by his parents; brother Maurice (Bud) Vail; brothers-in-law Burt Denton and David Denton; and sister-in-law Ruth Denton Lake.
Graveside service was held Monday, June 21. Services were under the direction of Smith Family Funeral Homes.
Thank you to Hendrick Hospital and Hendrick Hospice Care in Abilene for their excellent care of Jack during his illness.
Online condolences can be shared with the family at www.smithfamilyfh.com.