Russell Lee Varner
12/12/1940 – 02/06/2010

Russell Lee Varner, 69, of South Zanesville, died at 1:42 PM Saturday February 6, 2010 at his residence following a long illness.

He was born December 12, 1940 in Zanesville the son of the late George R. Varner and Martha Madeline Wilkins Varner Podiwin. Russell lived in the Zanesville area all of his life. He loved sports having played in the Jaycees Baseball League as a youth. As a young man he modified and drag raced his 1950 Ford and can’t remember of ever losing on a quarter mile strip. One of his favorite pastimes was watching college sports, especially The Ohio State Buckeyes and professional baseball, football and basketball games on TV. He was an avid fisherman at local lakes and rivers and his prize Gar fish hangs in his family room. He enjoyed fishing in the Great Lakes for Walleye and cooking dinners for family and friends (frying the Walleye with Ritz Crackers).

Russell loved his work in all phases of his life, as a boy stocking shelves at his grandparent’s grocery and delivering newspapers. In his youth he was a gas station attendant. As a man he was a Sales Representative for Zanesville Fruit Company and retired as a Sales Representative for Nabisco Cracker Co. for 33 years where he earned top sales rep awards year after year.

Russell was there for family, friends, and neighbors when help was needed, whatever it be; a hot meal and/or a place to stay, assistance in putting on a new roof, remodeling a kitchen or adding a family room, or just listening and giving advice when needed.

Surviving Russell is his lifetime girlfriend to whom he has been married for 46 years, Barbara Wiezbiski Varner, son: Russell L. “Rusty” Varner Jr. and daughter: Julie Varner Weed Twiggs both of California, two grandchildren: Nicole Varner and Wesley Weed, brother: James E. (Edda) Varner of Zanesville, sister: Helen May “Toni” Barks of Zanesville, sister-in-law: Patricia Wiezbiski of Zanesville, very special friends: Stephanie, Gary, Skyler and Jett Hill of South Zanesville, several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Honoring Russell’s wishes he will be cremated and a memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday February 13, 2010, with family receiving friends from 10:00 AM till time of service at Bryan & Snider Funeral Home 2318 Maple Ave with Rev. Kelly Reagan officiating.

Memorial Contributions may be made in Russell’s memory to The Animal Shelter Society, 1430 Newark Road, Zanesville, OH 43701 or Genesis Hospice and Palliative Care 713 Forest Ave. Zanesville, OH 43701.

To share memories and condolences with the Varner family, visit Russell’s memorial on-line registry at