Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, February 26, 1981
OBITUARY ~ PAUL L. VARNER
Paul Lloyd VARNER was born on May 14, 1916 at Delphos, Ringgold County, Iowa, to Omer "Pop" and Nina STEPHENS VARNER,
the fourth in a family of five sons. He passed away Sunday, February 15, 1981 at the Ringgold County Hospital in
Mt. Ayr, Iowa, three months prior to his 65th birthday.
With his family, he moved to Diagonal in 1929, was a member
of "Pop's" basketball team in his high school years, graduating with the class of 1934.
After attending Iowa State
Teachers College at Cedar Falls for a year, he served a year's apprenticeship under Ivan L. CREW, Diagonal Funeral
Director, before enrolling at the Hohenschue Carpenter School for Mortuary Science at St. Louis, Missouri, where he
graduated in 1939.
On June 22, 1940, he was united in marriage with Verla Dean TAYLOR, the wedding place at the home
of the bride's parents, Mr. & Mrs. James R. TAYLOR in Diagonal. The VARNERS observed their 40th anniversary in June of
A son, Bradford, and a daughter, Janet, was born to the union with the family making their home in Diagonal
for several years including the two years, 1944 and 1945, when Paul served in the United States Navy in World War II.
In May 1957, the family moved to Clearfield where he continued to work as funeral director, and for a time also operated
a furniture store. In 1979, Paul and Jay WATSON entered into partnership with funeral homes, Clearfield, Diagonal,
and Tingley, under the name Varner-Watson, an association both found mutually rewarding.
He was a funeral director in
Ringgold and Taylor counties for more than 40 years and a member of the Iowa and National Funeral Directors Associations.
In 1961 he was the prime motivator in establishing a nursing home facility in Clearfield by organizing interested persons.
That facility grew to include a larger one in Mt. Ayr, with both continuing to serve these and neighboring communities.
Paul was active in community affairs, a member of AF&AM, Eastern Star, Des Moines Consistory and the American
In the VARNER family, his parents preceded him in death with him and his family caring for them in their
declining years, a care and concern which was continued for his mother following the death of his father. Also preceding
him in death were his brother, John, and two nephews.
Surviving are his brothers and their wives, Charles and Martha
of Hemet, California, Clay and Lelah, Decorah, Iowa, Alvin and Galene, Burlington, Iowa; a sister-in-law, Madge
VARNER, Tooele, Utah, and many nieces and nephews. Also surviving are the members of the TAYLOR family.
In the immediate
family, he is survived by his wife, Verla Dean, their son, Brad and his wife, Sherry of Cheyenne, Wyoming; their daughter,
Jan, and son-in-law, Jerry SLAYBAUGH, of Independence, MO, and three grandchildren, Lori and Greg SLAYBAUGH and Bobbi Jo
VARNER. A fourth grandchild, Jeffy VARNER, lost his life, April 30, 1972 at the age of 7 1/2 years with the memory of
his short life vivid in the hearts of those who loved him.
The close knit family group found great pleasure in each
other through the years, with each grandchild a continuing joy. In these last months of critical illness they gave Paul
constant care and support and he in turn rose above the circumstances to give them continued companionship and love.
Paul held each and every one of his fellowmen with respect, making and keeping many friendship. He had a quick and
ready wit which he used only to delight, never to deride or belittle.
He possessed an ever awareness of those about
him, thus bringing comfort to those in sorrow and grief. His unabtrusive presence went beyond the practice of his
His friends were many and they will join his family in living the memory of him among us, his concerns,
With Paul VARNER gone the world is a poorer place.
Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, February
17, 1981 at the Clearfield School. Interment was made at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr.
Submission by Ann Wyer, April of 2012
To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.
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