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Nancy Varner

1951 - 2019
Nancy Varner Obituary
November 22, 1951 - June 1, 2019 After a thirteen-year brave battle with cancer, Nancy Varner passed away peacefully on June 1, 2019 surrounded by family and prayers. Nancy was born on November 22, 1951 to Rita and Daniel Bagdon in Chicago, Illinois. Nancy and her family moved to the Inland Empire where she graduated from Corona High School in 1969. Nancy earned a Bachelor of Sciences in Nursing from Loma Linda University in 1974 where she spent her early career as a Registered Nurse. On April 26, 1975, Nancy married the love of her life, Bruce Varner, at the Mission Inn Chapel in Riverside, California. After spending time with three rambunctious boys, Nancy and Bruce welcomed daughter, Nicole, to the family. Motivated by a strong desire to help others, Nancy dedicated her early years to serving her community. Nancy served on, and co-founded, various organizations including Santa Claus, Inc. and Assistance League, where Nancy volunteered as a Headdress Ball model and chair on several occasions. Nancy co-founded the Loma Linda University Children's Hospital Foundation Board, as well as the Big Hearts for Little Hearts Guild. Nancy enjoyed the Guild Cooking School fundraisers and often assisted in compiling recipes for the event. After being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006, and undergoing treatment, Nancy felt a calling to help other cancer patients in her community. Specifically, Nancy noticed a disparity between traditional medical treatments and services for cancer patients. This void ignited a passion in Nancy to help other cancer patients with such things as: obtaining wigs, sharing information, early screening, and nutrition for those patients in need. To facilitate those services, Nancy, along with her two co-chairs, Annie Sellas and Cathy Stockton, formed the Inland Women Fighting Cancer Committee in 2008. In conjunction with Stater Bros. Charities, the two groups launched the first Believe Walk in 2008 to help raise money, awareness and services for local cancer patients. In 2019, the Believe Walk will celebrate their 12th year and millions of dollars raised for cancer patients in the community. In her spare time, Nancy enjoyed knitting, reading, cooking, traveling, gardening, and spending time with her family. Nancy's grace and generosity touched the many lives of those who crossed her path. Nancy was a consummate hostess with a talent for making others feel welcome, often by lending a listening ear, a hug or a meal made from her kitchen. Nancy often paused to lend support or encouragement to cancer patients she met along her journey and her strength, faith and love were a gift to all. Nancy is survived by her husband, Bruce, four children: daughter, Nicole and sons Kevin, Sean and Brett; eight grandchildren: Zoey, Peyton, Marcus, Devin, Ancel, Finley, Fiona and Bruce; daughters-in-law, Tracy and Kristin, son-in-law Brian, mother, Rita and siblings Lynn and Daniel. Services for Nancy will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in Redlands. Reception will follow at 1 p.m. at the National Orange Show in San Bernardino. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that in the spirit of Nancy's memory, gifts be made to the Bruce D. and Nancy B. Varner Presidential Endowed Chair in Cancer Research at the UC Riverside Foundation; P.O. Box 112; Riverside, CA 92502-9879, or to Stater Bros. Charities for the Believe Walk; P.O. Box 150; San Bernardino, CA 92404.
Published in San Bernardino Sun on June 5, 2019
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