Donald L. Varney, Jr., 83, of Upton, died peacefully Sunday, October 30, 2016 at his home after a long illness. He was the husband of Joan (Gorman) Varney, with whom he recently celebrated 60 years of marriage.
Born in Boston, MA, son of the late Dorothy A. (Young) and Donald L. Varney, Sr., he moved to West Upton when he was two years old and was educated in Upton and Grafton schools, graduating from Grafton High School in 1950. Following graduation, Don enlisted in the United State Air Force, making it a career and serving 22 years before receiving an Honorable Discharge and retiring in 1972. During his military career Don was stationed at Loring AFB in Limestone, ME; Carswell AFB in Fort Worth, TX; Amarillo AFB in Amarillo, TX; Eglin AFB in Ft. Walton Beach, FL; and Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro, NC. He also served in many foreign countries, including RAF Wethersfield in England, and shorter tours of duty in Turkey, Thule AFB in Greenland, and Vietnam.
Don was the father of five children: James M. who died in 1986; Kathleen A., wife of Rolf R. Rhodes of Mendon; David L., husband of Cheryl L. of Upton; Michael W., husband of Cheryl A. of Clovis, NM; and Suzanne J. Varney of Uxbridge. He was the loving grandfather of Nicholas, Zachery (wife Caitlyn) and Megan Varney; Kevin and Casey Rhodes, and Tyler J. Varney; and proud great-grandfather of Zane P. Varney of CA, and Silas J. Allsup of NM. He also leaves a brother, Richard E. and his wife Carol of Cornelius, NC, and two sisters, Nancy A. Page of Upton of Upton and Gail D. and her husband Robert Larson of Mendon; also several nieces and nephews and in-laws.
After returning from Vietnam and retiring from the Air Force, Don and his family bought a home on School Street in Upton in 1973. Don worked for Data General corporation for over twenty years, retiring in 1997. Don’s hobbies were woodworking, making many pieces of furniture for his family, and with his brother Richard’s help, building the apartment on their School Street home. He enjoyed working in the yard and gardens and especially enjoyed reading all kinds of mystery novels. For many years Don and Joan had a mobile home at Marty’s Trailer Court in Wellfleet, enjoying many weeks of vacation there over the years; he also enjoyed driving around the country visiting relatives. Don also worked for the local Meals on Wheels program at the Upton Senior Center for a number of years.
Funeral services will be Thursday, November 3, from the Williams-Pedersen Funeral Home, 45 Main Street, Upton, with a funeral mass at 10 a.m. in St. Gabriel the Archangel Church, 151 Mendon Street, Upton. Burial with military honors will follow in Lakeview Cemetery.
Calling hours at the funeral home are Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Friends of the Upton Library, P.O. Box 1196, Upton, MA 01568.