Wandalea (Johnson) Varner, 82, passed away August 30, 2014 at Oakwood Health Campus in Tell City, Indiana. She was born January 23, 1932 in Chrisney, Indiana to Jacob P. and Mary (Pierce) Johnson. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers Delmar R. Johnson, Karl J. Johnson, P.J. (Red) Johnson, and a sister Cecil Johnson. On April 18, 1954 at Chrisney Methodist Church, Wandalea married Ben Varner Jr., who survives.
Also surviving are three sons, Bennie (Karen) of Rockport, IN; Joe (Ann) of Jasper, IN; and Brad (Marie) of Granger, Indiana. Seven grandchildren and one great grandchild survive: Amanda (Eric) Peters and their son, Nicholas, of Alexandria, VA; Elizabeth Varner of Boonville, IN; Paul Varner and Scott Varner of Jasper, IN; and Benjamin Varner, Thomas Varner, and Ryan Varner of Granger, IN. Additionally, two step grandchildren survive: Chad Cavitt of Mobile, AL; and Amber Ling and her son J.J. of Evansville, IN.
Wandalea lived a full and complete life. After graduating from Chrisney High School in 1950, where she was a cheerleader, played clarinet, was a member of the high school girl’s intramural team and chorus, she continued serving as church pianist which she did for 8 years at the Chrisney Methodist Church. She worked at General Electric before marrying Ben and moving to Williamsburg, Virginia, and Monterey, California, where she attended Monterey Peninsula College. Upon returning to southern Indiana, Wandalea was an avid worker at the First United Methodist Church in Tell City where she served as director of vacation bible school for several years, was a Sunday school teacher and served on several other committees. She also attended Evansville College, and further worked as a reading assistant for the Tell City-Troy Township school system, worked as a teller for Tell City Federal Savings and Loan, and worked as a secretary in the Perry County Treasurer’s office. After securing her real estate license in 1978, she was owner/manager of the Varner Realty Company.
Wandalea was a member of the Tell City Eastern Star 272 (where she received her 50 year recognition recently), 50 year member of the Columbia Rebekah Lodge 314, Ladies of the Shrine, American Legion Auxiliary, DAV Auxiliary, Perry County Women’s Republican Party and several bridge clubs.
For the last 5 years Wandalea has been lovingly and tenderly cared for by the staff at the Oakwood Health Campus in Tell City, for which the family is most grateful.
Funeral services will be Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 2:00 PM CST at First United Methodist Church, 702 10th Street, Tell City. Pastor Lee Shepherd will officiate. Burial will follow in Oak Hill Cemetery, Chrisney. Visitation will be at Zoercher-Gillick Funeral Home, Monday from 2:00-8:00 PM with an Order of Easter Star at 6:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00-11:30 AM at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Tell City First United Methodist Church or Shriner’s Hospitals in care of the Hadi Temple in Evansville, Indiana.