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