Virgil Clair Vial

HAMILTON – Virgil Clair Vial, 83, passed away on May 20, 2013 at Hamilton of leukemia. He was born on Sept. 8, 1929 in Hamilton. Virgil attended local schools and graduated from Hamilton High School in 1949. He played basketball through high school and his team won the state championship in his senior year.

Virgil moved his family to Anchorage, Alaska in July 1956 and took a job with the Alaska Railroad. In 1960, he started Vial Trucking Company. Virgil was an avid hunter and fisherman. He dreamed about polar bear hunting and realized this dream in 1964. He loved flying and trapping at Lake Louise, halibut fishing in Homer, and salmon fishing in Willow. He especially loved king salmon fishing and like the salmon, he returned to the place of his birth. Virgil and family gold mined in Candle, Alaska from 1980-2000.

Virgil is survived by his wife, Janice Vial of Anchorage, Alaska; children Mike Vial of Willow, Alaska, Mark Vial of Homer, Alaska and Karen Upchurch of Anchorage, Alaska; former wife Velda Vial of Hamilton; grandchildren, Kristal Upchurch of Boise, Idaho, Suzanne Steed, Sandra Vial, Steven Vial and Samantha Vial of Wasilla, Alaska and Andrew Vial of Knoxville, Tenn.; brothers Vernon Vial of Chandler, Ariz. and David Vial of Gig Harbor, Wash.; stepson Wesley Smith of Seward, Alaska, and many other aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren.

He was preceded by his parents DeWitt and Eunice Vial of Hamilton; brothers Melvin Vial of Libby, Donald Vial of Salmon, Idaho; daughter-in-law Jenifer Vial of Willow, Alaska; granddaughters Kimberly Upchurch-Nueman of Katy, Texas and Caitlin Vial of Anchorage, Alaska, and step-daughter Wilma Price of Anchorage, Alaska.

Joint graveside services will be held at Riverview Cemetery in Hamilton on May 25 at 2 p.m. with his granddaughter Kimberly Upchurch-Nueman. A reception will follow at Daly-Leach Memorial Chapel, 1010 W. Main St., Hamilton. The family requests donations to Marcus Daly Hospice Services in lieu of flowers.

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