Herbert H. Varnell Jr., 92, passed away on April 11, 2022, at home surrounded by his loving family. Herbert was born on November 4, 1929, in Apache, Oklahoma. Herbert married the love of his life, Bonnie J. Hamilton on July 16, 1950.
Herbert joined the United States Army on March 27, 1948. He served in Germany and Korea and was awarded three Bronze Star Medals before an honorable discharge on March 27, 1952.
If you knew Herbert H. Varnell Jr., you would know that there were many things that would bring a smile to his face. One of those is his love for his big family and the love of fishing and the bigger the fish on his line, the bigger the smile you got. Good fishing trips meant big fish fries for his family. There are around 40 pecan trees planted at his home and every season, you could walk into his home and find Herbert cracking and shelling gallons of pecans to give as a gift to his family and friends. Herbert also had a green thumb and every summer enjoyed planting a beautiful vegetable garden planted and enjoyed sharing the bounty with family, neighbors and friends and the farmer’s market. Herbert gifted everyone at his 90th birthday celebration by telling many stories of his childhood growing up on a farm and using horses and mules to farm with. Everything he did was always with a big loving smile on his face.
Herbert is preceded in death by his father, Herbert H. Varnell, Sr.; mother, Verna Greenhaw Varnell; stepmother, Marie Varnell; and brother, Carlile Varnell.
Herbert is survived by Bonnie Hamilton Varnell; son, Gary H. Varnell and wife, Cathy; daughters, Terry Varnell Baker and husband, Larry, Sherry Varnell Preston and husband, Darrell, and Diana Varnell Zagorski and husband, Rick; brothers, Homer Varnell and Howard Varnell; 16 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, and eight great-great grandchildren.
Herbert was a member of the First Baptist Church in Norborne, Missouri where he also served as a deacon. A visitation at the church will be held on Friday, April 15, 2022, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., with a service to follow. A graveside service and military honors will follow at Fairhaven Cemetery in Norborne, Missouri.
Arrangements in care of Fry-Bross & Spidle Funeral Home, Kearney.