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E. Don Varner

Varner - E. Don, 91, Geistown Borough, was called Home to the Lord on May 22, 2020. He was born on July 19, 1928 in Elton, PA, Son of Earl F. & Muriel E. (Brewer) Varner. Preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Zane, Bill & Glenn and sister, Mildred Redfern. Survived by wife, Barbara (Deitke) who celebrated 65 wonderful years of marriage on August 7.  He is also survived by two daughters, Debbie Gorzelsky, and her husband Bill, Elton and Sherri Kofmehl and her husband, Paul, Johnstown. Also survived by the pride of his life, his five grandsons, Craig Gorzelsky and wife Sarah, Quincy, PA, Brett Gorzelsky and wife, Jenn, Johnstown, Scott Gorzelsky and wife Sarah, Pittsburgh, Jason Kofmehl and wife, Megan, Mechanicsburg, and Jonathan Kofmehl and his special friend, Kelsey Preston, Brambleton, VA. Don had four great-grandchildren, Luke and Max Gorzelsky and Jacob and Macey Kofmehl. Don proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was honorably discharged as a Sergeant. He had a lifetime career with A&P Grocery as a Store Manager and District Manager in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Don was long time member of Beulah United Methodist Church. He dedicated his life as a YMCA, high school and collegiate swimming official locally and nationally. Don enjoyed many hours on his fishing boat with a cigar in his mouth with the Allegheny Mountain Bass Anglers Club. He loved to spend time camping at Lake Raystown with “Barbie" and his family. Don enjoyed watching the Pittsburgh Pirates, Steelers and Penguins. Donnie was dedicated to his family and loved anytime the gang was together. Due to current health conditions, there will be a private family viewing and service at the Harris Funeral Home, 500 Cherry Lane, Richland. Private entombment will be at Richland Mausoleum with military rites conducted by Menoher Post #155 VFW Ritual Team. A Memorial Service will be held at a later date to be announced. The family suggests contributions be directed to Alzheimer’s Association, 1086 Franklin Street, Johnstown, PA 15905 or Beulah United Methodist Church, 716 Bedford Street, Johnstown, PA 15902 in memory of Don. Online condolences may be posted to www.wharrisfuneralhome.com.

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He was my mother's boss at the A&P. Joan Polke. I remember him well. I'm sorry for your loss.

Diane Pellow Nov 14 2020 12:00 AM

Don was a mentor to myself as well as many other YMCA swim officials as we were on deck for many years together. We officiated IUP collegiate meets together and will always remember being called "Partner" like so many others. I guess we can finish that eternal bag of potato chips he carried in his bag sharing with Denny Hartnett and Greg Bell. Don was the guy everyone admired and respected and always wanted to be on deck with. He will be missed and thank you Barbi for sharing Don with us for so many years. Condolences to Barbi and Sheri for the loss of a wonderful husband and father. Art Vascik

Art Vascik Jun 19 2020 12:00 AM

On behalf of myself and the Flushing YMCA our sincere condolences to Don's family on the passing of such a wonderful, kind, caring person. Though I only saw Don at Y Nationals (I have been to everyone since 1981) it was always a pleasure to see him and chat with him throughout the week.

Richard Finkelstein Jun 9 2020 12:00 AM

Dear Sherri and family,
Mike and I were sad to read of Mr. Varner's passing. I hope, in time, your grief will be replaced with fond memories.
I will remember Don dressed in his whites. He and Barb worked tirelessly for our swimmers and all the kids across the country.His dedication and enthusiasm will be remembered.
I also acknowledge his military service to our country on this special day that we remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
May God bless you all and grant you strength and peace. We send our deepest condolences. Sincerely, Mike and Linda Grados

Linda Grados May 25 2020 12:00 AM

Barb always remember the good times you and Don shared together as a family. Your family is in our prayers at this difficult time.

John & Mary Ellen Wojcik May 25 2020 12:00 AM

We extend our deepest sympathy and sadness for your loss. Vince and Donna Rzasa

Vince Rzasa May 25 2020 12:00 AM

I knew Don best through the positive influence of his daughter Sherri Kofmehl, my swim coach. Although it has been many years since I have seen either she or Don, his legacy touched me in a positive way. I will always be grateful for the life lessons I learned as a YMCA swimmer, and Don is an undeniable part of that. My condolences to his family - may his memory comfort and inspire you.

Caitlin Motley May 25 2020 12:00 AM

So sorry for your loss, I used to play golf at Windber County Club in the 70's, I think we even won a tournament together. Later on when I worked for Coca- Cola , I would see him at the A&P in Richland and we would talk about golf. He will be missed.

Bill Telek May 25 2020 12:00 AM

Back in the early 60s Don and Barb built a cottage next to ours on the Raystown Branch below Everett. I was a teenager whom Don befriended. I remember him well. Great guy. Dennis A Loushe

Dennis A Loushe May 25 2020 12:00 AM

Deepest sympathy to Don's family. There were very few swim meets I went to in the past that Don wasn't there officiating. He was a great guy and will be missed

Pam Price May 24 2020 12:00 AM

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