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An Old Friend – Marienne V. “Marnie” McCausland

Marnie McCausland Shooting Pins

15 years ago, I lost an old friend way too young. Her name was Marienne Vail McCausland. But we all knew her as, “Marnie”. Initially we crossed paths while she was working at various gun stores. Later on, I found out she worked directly with some of the major players in the industry. 

Not incidentally when you consider the name of this website…she sold me my very first 1911. A Series 1, Stainless Steel, Kimber Gold Match. To this day, still the most accurate 1911 I have ever owned or shot with my two hands. 

We don’t talk about her much, since I am not big on living in the past. But any long term listeners to the podcast might have heard my Black Bear – Bathtub story? If so, that was Marnie. 

Not too long ago, a pin collection of Marnie’s showed up at my FFL: Shooters Supply Shop in Loveland, Ohio. On it you will see references to matches she shot, companies she worked for, and places she has been. When I first saw this board, I probably looked at it for an hour. 

I wish I could tell you that I think of Marnie every day. But I don’t. 

It’s just too hard.

I miss you very much, Marnie. 



Obit from The Cleveland Plain Dealer

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.





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