Correction: An earlier version of this obituary had the wrong day for the memorial service. The memorial will be held from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, July 24, at Karen Hornaday Park.
Oct. 7, 1952 – June 29, 2022
On June 29, 2022, Mark Vial was lifted from this world after a sudden and short bout with cancer at the age of 69. He was at home surrounded by his wife and family.
Mark was born on Oct. 7, 1952 in Missoula, Montana and lived there for two years before his parents relocated to Anchorage, Alaska where he was raised. He graduated from East Anchorage High School in 1971. His biggest passion as he grew up was being on the ice and playing hockey. After high school he served in the Army from 1972–1974 and continued his service in the Army Reserves from 1974–1978.
Mark had a variety of career endeavors over the years, each with their individual successes. He began his journey on the Alyeska Pipeline back in the heyday from 1974-1977. After that he joined the family business, Vial Trucking Co. for three years from 1977-1980. He then ventured up to the Seward Peninsula and became a placer miner for 20 summers from 1980- 1999. During that time in 1994 he met his soul mate, Connie Cavasos, which was the beginning of his adventurous life in Homer. They bought their first home together and were married three years later in 1997. He gave up his gold mining in 1999 and started VBS Heating with Connie, serving the lower Kenai Peninsula for 22 years. He “warmed” a lot of souls during that time period! They sold the business just last year in 2021 to begin retirement.
Mark had a quiet demeanor which hid a great sense of humor and deep laugh. He was not one to let the little things in life bother him. He was very patient and gentle, which was the base of his passion for teaching the younger generation to skate at the Kevin Bell Arena. He wanted the experience to be fun filled so kids would to learn to love the sport as much as he did. He was an instrumental figure in the formation of Homer Hockey Association’s 4–6 year old MicroBell program and as a coach for the 7–8 year old Mite hockey division. He was also a guiding force in an afternoon “Learn to Skate” program sponsored by the Rink. In 2017 Mark received the “Ken Satre Trailblazer Award” for the volunteer who goes above and beyond on behalf of HHA. He was always available to lend a hand to benefit the future of the rink. Even as the years passed, he never forgot a child’s name.
Besides his dedication to the ice, Mark loved skiing, fishing and most recently gardening and bird watching. He was an avid reader and was never without a good book in his midst. He was also volunteering with Hospice of Homer where he was assisting a patient with their household needs. But his treasured place to enjoy life and embrace nature was at his cabin at Lake Louise off the Glenn Highway. Winter or summer he treasured that time in the wilderness. As per his wishes his ashes will be dispersed under his favorite birch tree on the property overlooking the lake. Mark’s kind gentle character, sense of humor and laugh will be sorely missed by everyone whose heart he touched.
Mark is survived by his wife, Connie Cavasos; brother. Mike, and his wife Fa; son, Andrew; step sons Jason and Jared; four grandchildren; uncles, aunt and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Virgil and Velda Vial, and his sister Karen Upchurch.
Please join us in a Celebration of Life from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, July 24, 2022, at Karen Hornaday Park in Homer, Alaska. There will be a second celebration at Lake Louise over Labor Day weekend in September; details to follow. If interested, Mark has requested that donations be made to the Homer Hockey Assoc., P.O. Box 2703, Homer, AK 99603 for Youth Programs, and/or to Hospice of Homer, P.O. Box 4174, Homer, AK 99603 on his behalf.