SHADE VALLEY - George M. Varner, 89, of Shade Valley, died at 10:25 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, at his home.
Born on June 26, 1923, in Lack Township, Juniata County, he was a son of the late James and Alva Vay (Shore) Varner. On July 10, 1942, he married his late wife, Beulah H. (Hart) Varner, with whom he shared more than 52 years of marriage before she preceded him in death on Nov. 10, 1994.
Surviving are: his children, William J. Varner and his fiancee, Gloria J. Apple, of Shade Valley, John "Ed" Varner and his companion, Althea Sue Coons, of Shade Gap; and he leaves behind 19 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren and six great-great- grandchildren.
George M. Varner
One son, Donald M. Varner, preceded him in death. He was the last of his generation, having been preceded in death by two brothers, Martin Varner and James Varner, and three sisters, Sarah Clayton, Pearl Burdge and Dorothy Fultz.
George was a 1942 graduate of Juniata Joint High School, Mifflintown, and proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II in the European, African and Middle Eastern Theaters, earning five bronze stars.
Following in his father's footsteps, he was the second generation to own and operate the family farm that at one time included Varner's Store. He was born, worked and died on the farm that he cherished.
He was a charter member of the Cross Keys Conservation Club and a member of the Tuscarora Grange No. 774, East Waterford.
His many interests included hunting and trout fishing. He was also a people person who served as a mentor to many young people as well as a concerned member of the Shade Valley community who often called friends and neighbors and visited local nursing homes. He was also known as a student of the Bible and was considered by many the local historian of Shade Valley and the surrounding area.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, at the Richvale United Methodist Church, Richvale, with the Revs. Robert Varner and Marlin "Butch" Neil officiating. Interment will follow in the Book Cemetery, Shade Valley, where the Juniata County Veterans Council will accord full military burial honors.
A viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, at Brown Funeral Homes, Inc., 100 Bridge St., Mifflintown, and from 10 a.m. until the time of the service Monday at the church.
For those who desire, memorial donations may be made in Mr. Varner's memory to Cross Keys Conservation Club, 2195 Route 35 South, East Waterford, PA 17021.
For online condolences and tributes please visit www.brownfuneralhomesinc.com.