Chesterton Tribune

Rachel Orr Varner dies at 96

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Rachel Orr Varner, 96, passed away peacefully Nov. 25, 2007 at home in Portage.

She was born Rachel Dickson Orr on March 15, 1911 in Springdale, Pa., the daughter of Chambers Stanley Orr and Margaret Luella (Dickson) Orr.

She was married for 56 years to Grayden Grant Varner, who preceded her in death in 1995.

She is survived by six children, Margaret Susan Hines (Duncan Hines, Jr.), Brian Knox Varner (Christina Prange), John Douglas Varner (Marsha Hile Wright), Robert Dennis Varner (Katy Wagner), David Mortland Varner (Charlotte Musk), and Mary Louise McWilliams (Timothy McWilliams); 13 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren and by brother John Samuel Orr, 92, of Tehachapi, Calif.

She was also preceded in death by a brother Howard Chambers Orr.

Initially, a long-time resident of the Pittsburgh area, Rachel with husband and family moved to Chesterton in 1959. She was widely admired for her abilities in flower gardening and was a member of the Chesterton Garden Club. She was also an avid reader. Rachel operated a chocolate-making business, Candy Windows, for several years in Chesterton, then later in Natrona Heights, Pa. She helped establish Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts in Fawn Township (Pa.) and was a direct descendant of Captain Robert Orr, a member of the Revolutionary Army who built a blockhouse at the mouth of Bull Creek in Tarentum, Pa. in 1783. Rachel was also a long-standing member of the 1st Methodist Church of Chesterton. Beloved wife and mother, she was greatly loved by her family and will be missed. The many gardens she established wherever she lived will live on in her memory.

Funeral services, Pastor Terry Rhine officiating, will be Friday, Nov. 30.

It is requested donations be given to the Visiting Nurses Association of Porter County.

Posted 11/27/2007

The obituary for Rachel Orr Varner, that appeared in Tuesday’s paper, should have read that the funeral service will be at 11 a.m. at 1st Methodist Church of Chesterton.

Posted 11/28/2007