My dad.

He read this blog all the time. 

I knew he did, and would try to make sure that I updated it regularly, especially towards the end.  It was an easy way for him (and me) to keep in touch.

Sometimes it's easier to read & write words, rather then speak them.


I've had this post in draft form for over 6 months...

I just wasn't sure how to write it, or when to write it.

Last weekend though, we buried my dad's ashes in Havelock, Iowa in the cemetery near the farm where he and his family grew up.  

It was a wonderful service, and we had a lot of great family there to remember him.

Stories were told and it was a nice afternoon celebrating our dad.

And to be honest, it was probably a piece of closure I needed.


Kenneth Dean Vial, of Grand Ronde, OR, was born on February 20, 1950 in Laurens, Iowa to parents, Gordon and Alpha Myhr Vial. He died on January 25, 2013 in Stanfield, Oregon at the age of 62 years. Ken was raised and attended school in Havelock, Iowa, graduating from Havelock-Plover High School in the class of 1968. He earned the Order of the Arrow in the Boy Scouts of America.
In 1974, he was the high individual at the World Dairy Expo Dairy Judging Contest. Ken graduated from Iowa State University with a BS in Dairy Science. He worked for the National Brown Swiss Assoc. and later was a professional livestock photographer living in Fresno, California. In 1979, he married Patricia Clancy.  They had three children and then later divorced. Ken and his family moved to Eugene, Oregon in 1985 where they had started a vineyard. They then moved to Newberg, Oregon in 1995 where Ken continued to work in the dairy industry. Ken moved to Grand Ronde, Oregon in 2003 and worked as a Livestock Water Quality Specialist for the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Ken was a member of the National Dairy Shrine. He was an airplane pilot, enjoyed riding motorcycles, hunting, beekeeping, and being involved in the dairy and agriculture industries. Ken encouraged and was supportive of his children’s involvement in agriculture.
He is survived by his daughters: Darcy Sexson & her husband Clint, Stanfield, OR, Lindsay Vial, Tri-Cities, WA; son: Shawn Vial, Bend, OR; brothers: Harold Vial, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Lee Vial, Marshalltown, Iowa; sister: Harriet Den Hartog, Storm Lake, Iowa; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Ken was preceded in death by his parents, and a brother: Raymond Vial.
Ken’s family would like to thank the staff at Salem Hospital and Vange John Memorial Hospice for their compassionate and expert care.
A celebration of life service will be held on Wednesday, at 10:30 am at Restlawn Memorial Gardens, Salem, Oregon. A private family burial will be held at Washington Cemetery, Havelock, Iowa.


My aunt and uncle led the burial service, just as they'd led his memorial service, and the obituary above was read during the ceremony.

Our dad was all of these things and more, and he has been and will continue to be missed.

But we know he's watching us from Heaven.


  1. Thinking of you. Sending hugs from Nebraska.

  2. Your dad was a GREAT man! His legacy lives on in his beautiful kids!! :) Love you & I love that I was able to have Ken be a part of our lives too!!

  3. Beautifully written. I am glad the sun shone for the service.


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