Cleveland Plain Dealer's past vs. present on firearms highlighted in obituary

We wish the Plain Dealer editorial board would explore their roots on the issue of firearms. We didn't know her, but we will miss her.

Marnie Vail McCausland, a sure shot


Services for Marnie Vail McCausland, a National Rifle Association women's muzzleloading rifle champion whose family owned The Plain Dealer for more than 80 years, will be at 1 p.m. today at Vorhis Funeral Home, 5501 Montgomery Road, Norwood, Ohio.

McCausland, 45, whose given name was Marienne Vail, died of complications from cancer Wednesday at the Hospice of Cincinnati.

The Cleveland native, who grew up in Shaker Heights, was a descendant of Liberty E. Holden, who bought The Plain Dealer in 1885 and whose heirs owned the paper until 1967. Thomas H. White, founder of White Sewing Machine Co., also was one of her ancestors.

McCausland's parents, Kay Vail, who lives in Shaker Heights, and H. Lansing Vail Jr., who died in June, fostered her passion for the outdoors and game hunting.

Her husband, Samuel, who died of cancer in 2001, shared her love of firearms. He introduced her to muzzleloaders, which marksmen load with black powder.

Since the mid-1990s, McCausland won several NRA and National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association sharpshooting contests.

She also worked in the firearms industry. McCausland, who held a communications degree from Cedarville University, was a range officer for Target World of Cincinnati and a public relations adviser for Thompson Center Arms of Rochester, N.H. More recently, she managed communications for Savage Arms, a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of muzzleloaders and classic firearms.

McCausland hunted antelope in Wyoming, bagged a bear in West Virginia and ran a whitetail deer hunt for women in Texas. She also participated in historic re-enactments, showed her quarter horse, rode motorcycles and climbed Mount Rainier.

Surviving with her mother are her brother, Robert L. Vail of Russell Township, and sister, Delia Fritz of Hackettstown, N.J.

Donations may be made to:

Hospice of Cincinnati, 4310 Cooper Road, Cincinnati 45242.

Cedarville University, Cedarville, OH 45314.

Any chapter of the American Cancer Society.

Click here to read the tribute in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

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