David T. Varner, 76, of Austin, Texas, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on February 28th in Angleton, Texas, after a long illness.
David was born on January 22, 1942 in Olney, Illinois, the oldest son of Robert Earl and Margaret Von Almen Varner. He attended East Richland High School where he excelled in multiple sports as a natural athlete. After high school, David attended Vincennes University on scholarship briefly before joining the United States Army, serving in the 560th Military Police Company in Vietnam and later in the 720th Military Police Battalion at Fort Hood. He later dedicated years in the Army Reserves and was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant in 1978.
Upon his return from Vietnam and while stationed in Fort Hood, he met and married Grace A. Hoskins, of Smithville, Texas on November 27, 1963. He settled in Texas living primarily in Austin and briefly in Smithville for the remainder of his life where he worked at the Texas Highway Department for 35 years in drafting and map-making. David was an active member of the Colorado #96 Masonic Lodge in Webberville, Texas and became a Grand Master of the Lodge in 1985. As a mason, he lived by the principles and values of the masonic brotherhood.
One of his passions was cycling the roads of Central Texas and the Austin Veloway, sometimes 40 or more miles a day. Since childhood, David was an active hunter who later became an accomplished bow hunter who loved the outdoors and nature. His primary focus as an adult was his family and their well-being. With an inquisitive mind, David enjoyed, throughout his life, discussing and learning about history, philosophy, politics and religion.
As a beloved husband, David, is survived by his wife of 54 years, Grace Hoskins Varner, and as a devoted father survived by his two daughters; Rhonda Varner Traband of Houston, Texas, her spouse, Robert W. Traband, Jr. and their son, Will, and his youngest daughter, Jennifer Laake Barrett of Brazoria, Texas and her spouse, Brian Barrett, her daughter, Megan Laake, her son, Ryan Laake, and her stepdaughters, Sarah and Amanda Barrett. His surviving siblings are Marjorie Vanbuskirk of Ventura, California, Robert Varner of Olney Illinois, Harold Varner of Pahrump, Nevada, Rosemary Underhill of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Earlene Spillman of Olney, Illinois. He also leaves behind a devoted Labrador retriever, Rosie.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, March 8, 2018, from 6:00PM – 8:00PM at All Faiths of the Pines Funeral Home located at 110 American Legion Road, Smithville, Texas. A funeral service celebrating David’s life will be held the following day on Friday, March 9, 2018 at 11:00AM also held at All Faiths of the Pines Funeral Home. David will be laid to rest at Oak Hill Cemetery in Smithville, Texas. There will be a reception following the interment at First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. Memorial Donation may be made to the charity of your choice.