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Donald R. Varner


1937 - 2019
Donald R. Varner Obituary
Donald R. Varner

Born: August 16, 1937; in Rankin, IL

Died: July 27, 2019; in Morris, IL

Donald R. "Lum" Varner, age 81, of Morris, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family Saturday, July 27, 2019. He was born August 16, 1937 in Rankin, IL, the son of the late Fleming Eugene and Marian (Theiben) Varner.

Raised and educated in Rankin, Don married Arlene "Cookie" Stover on August 13, 1960. He began his teaching career in Hinesboro, IL for one year, while he and Cookie lived in Oakland, Illinois. They moved to Morris in 1963 where Don worked as a PE teacher at Center School, where he also started the track program. He eventually took over Steve Benz classroom. Don retired from teaching in 1992 after 32 years.

Don proudly served his country with the 101st Airborne.

Don loved his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, always attending dance recitals, sporting events, and any other event they participated in, Don would be there.

During his summers, Lum would work as a security guard at Caterpillar for 13 years. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Morris, and ran the summer youth baseball program for many years. Don enjoyed golf, baseball and softball. He and Bruce Skluts coached a fast pitch softball team that won the 1980 State Title.

Don is survived by his wife, Cookie; son, Frank (Jen) Varner, and daughter, Tina Varner; grandchildren: Morgan, Shaelye, Bryce, and Brady Varner; Adam (Courtney) Sager; Stephanie Young, and Emily Varner; great-grandchildren: Ayla, Preston, and Perry Sager; Myah Butler, Tanner, and Tysen Young; and Aubree Castleberry. Also survived by three brothers: Robert, Jim, and Bill (Nancy) Varner; and one uncle, Howard Varner.

He is preceded in death by his parents.

Visitation will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Morris on Friday, August 2, 2019 from 3:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. A Celebration of Don's Life will be held at the church on Saturday morning, August 3, 2019 at 10:00 a.m., officiated by Pastors Robert Sathuri and Laura Wilson-Underwood. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery with military honors conducted by the Morris Color Guard.

Memorial contributions may be made in Don's memory to the youth programs at the Morris YMCA.

Arrangements have been entrusted with U.C. Davis-Callahan Funeral Home, 301 W. Washington Street, Morris, IL. For further information visit the website at www.ucdaviscallahan.com or contact the funeral home at 815-942-0084. Online condolences may be directed to the family by visiting the website.
Published in Morris Herald-News on July 30, 2019
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