OBITUARY

William "Bill" Varner

September 5, 1934November 21, 2018

William Lewis (Bill) Varner was born September 5, 1934 in Miller County near what is now the Lowe Plantation. He passed away peacefully on November 21, 2018 after a long illness and a short stay in the hospital. He was a farmer and cattle rancher – raising the Arkansas Grand Champion Angus bull in 1958. He graduated from Arkansas High School in 1952. Bill went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in 1956. He played baseball for the Razorbacks in 1954 and earned his spot on the exclusive “A” Club Roster. Bill followed Razorback sports his entire life and it is widely believed he knew more about Razorback sports than anyone and he never missed an opportunity to “Call the Hogs”! He was a high school basketball official for over 25 years. His love for the Hogs included the Arkansas High School Razorbacks as well. He was on the Texarkana Arkansas School Board and was instrumental in the building of the football stadium in 1971. Bill was a past president and former board member of the Miller County Farm Bureau, Miller County Levee Board, First United Methodist Church, Miller County Cattleman’s Association and a Justice of the Peace. Bill has been an active member of the Razorback Foundation for over 60 years. He was appointed to the Arkansas Waterways Commission by Governor Beebe, serving as chair for several years. Bill, Joyce and Bill Jr. were selected as the Miller County Farm Family of the Year in the 1970’s.

Bill never met a stranger and could converse with anyone on a wide range of topics. Joyce says that he acted like the mayor everywhere they went because he went around shaking hands and talking. He was extremely proud when Trey decided to go the U of A and enjoyed tailgating with him and the others in the Texarkana Tailgaters group.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents Ruth Jines Varner and Joe William Varner and a grandson, William Lewis “Trey” Varner, III. He is survived by his wife of 58 years Joyce Stewart Varner, one son and daughter in law, Bill Jr. and Sandy, one brother and sister in law, Joe Charles and Linda Varner, one sister in law and her husband, Carrie Stewart and Tommy Galloway, multiple nieces and nephews and various relatives as well as a host of friends both young and old.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Frist United Methodist Church, Texarkana, Arkansas or the Trey Varner Benevolent Scholarship Fund, 7002 Tall Oak Drive, Texarkana, AR. 71854.

Graveside service will be 10:00 A.M. Monday, November 26, 2018 at Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

Memorial service will be 11:00 A.M. Monday, November 26, 2018 at First United Methodist Church, Texarkana, AR. with Rev. Jaimie Alexander officiating.

Family will receive friends Sunday, November 25, 2018 from 3 to 5 P.M. at First United Methodist Church Cabe Center, 6th & Laurel Street, Texarkana, AR.

Condolences may be left at www.eastfuneralhomes.com Services are under the care of East Funeral Home-Downtown.

  • FAMILY

  • Ruth Jines Varner and Joe William Varner, Parents-deceased
  • William Lewis "Trey" Varner III, Grandson-deceased
  • Joyce Stewart Varner, Wife
  • Bill Jr. and Sandy Varner, Son and daughter-in-law
  • Joe Charles and Linda Varner, Brother and sister-in-law
  • Carrie Stewart and Tommy Galloway, Sister-in-law and husband
  • Multiple nieces and nephews and various relatives as well as a host of friends both young and old.

Services

  • Memorial Service Monday, November 26, 2018
  • Visitation Sunday, November 25, 2018
  • Graveside Service Monday, November 26, 2018
REMEMBERING

William "Bill" Varner

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Pat Kennedy

November 26, 2018

Joyce & Family,
We are so sorry to hear of Mr. Bill's passing. May God give you the peace and comfort you need in this time of sorrow. Our prayers and condolences to you and your family.
Pat (Matthews) Kennedy & Gary Kennedy.

Henry and Billie Sue Rohrscheib

November 26, 2018

Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Joyce, Bill Jr. and Sandy. Bill always made us feel welcomed at the ballgames, and Henry loved talking farming with him. He will be missed by everyone that was blessed to have him in their life, and we were so glad he was in ours. Please know we will continue our prayers for Joyce as she goes on without him by her side, but I am sure she will feel his presents there. Much love for this sweet family! Henry and Billie Sue Rohrscheib Lexa, Arkansas

Bobby Oller

November 25, 2018

So sorry for your loss Bill was a great man he will be missed . He always stopped by and visited we he was checking on the cows and his crops.
Bobby and Linda Oller

Jimmy and DiAnne Barfield

November 24, 2018

It was an honor and privilege to have had Mr. Bill as a neighbor on Downing Drive.
Always friendly and enjoyed our many driveway chats about farming, Razorbacks, and the state of affairs in our country. What a loss for us all who knew him....He will be missed.

Barbara Nipper

November 24, 2018

When I was hired to work part time at the Texarkana Country Club, Mrs. Varner was the manager, and that's where I met "Mr. Bill." He was such a nice person---always smiling and friendly. My prayers are with the Varner family. May God comfort you and give you peace in the days ahead.

Barbara (McAdams) Smart Nipper

Nedra Turney

November 24, 2018

To the Family
Sincere Condolences from Jerry and I
Bill was my lifelong Friend and that Friendship was treasured
He will be missed
♥️

Carol Ann Duke

November 23, 2018

Dear Varner Family,
I am so sorry for your loss. Know that as Bill exhaled on earth, inhaled in Heaven and he and Trey has a great tailgate before today’s game. Heaven has a new Razorback Angel.

Jo Lynne Varner

November 23, 2018

April 20, 2012

Jo Lynne Varner

November 23, 2018

Memories of my Uncle Bill have been flooding my mind for the last several days…My first and only visit to the IQ Zoo in 1966, the summer they were expecting Bill, Jr. Riding with him, Papa, and Daddy to check and feed cattle…Taking lunches to “the men” working in the fields during the summer…I can still picture the time I saw him shoulder deep in a cow working to rescue her unborn calf. Riding to the cotton gin after a full day of tromping down cotton in the trailer. I learned to drive in his old green and white car on the dirt roads of the Varner farm.

Fast forward to the ice storm of 2000 we spent together in Benton, celebrating Joyce’s birthday, their 38th anniversary, and my 40th birthday--without power. Made some memories for sure that week! I feel so incredibly fortunate to have spent time with him on his last day. I know he was ready because he told me. He also said to tell everyone he loved them--which is something I knew already.

Eddie Shirron

November 23, 2018

Bill was a good friend for many years. We were separated by time and geography but when I would visit him he was so gracious and hospitable. He let me and Tommy work with him one summer cutting calves and it was a great experience. Bill and Joyce were always so nice to me and I felt welcome at their farm. I was proud to know Bill and am sorry he’s gone.

Biography

William Lewis (Bill) Varner was born September 5, 1934 in Miller County near what is now the Lowe Plantation. He passed away peacefully on November 21, 2018 after a long illness and a short stay in the hospital. He was a farmer and cattle rancher – raising the Arkansas Grand Champion Angus bull in 1958. He graduated from Arkansas High School in 1952. Bill went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in 1956. He played baseball for the Razorbacks in 1954 and earned his spot on the exclusive “A” Club Roster. Bill followed Razorback sports his entire life and it is widely believed he knew more about Razorback sports than anyone and he never missed an opportunity to “Call the Hogs”! He was a high school basketball official for over 25 years. His love for the Hogs included the Arkansas High School Razorbacks as well. He was on the Texarkana Arkansas School Board and was instrumental in the building of the football stadium in 1971. Bill was a past president and former board member of the Miller County Farm Bureau, Miller County Levee Board, First United Methodist Church, Miller County Cattleman’s Association and a Justice of the Peace. Bill has been an active member of the Razorback Foundation for over 60 years. He was appointed to the Arkansas Waterways Commission by Governor Beebe, serving as chair for several years. Bill, Joyce and Bill Jr. were selected as the Miller County Farm Family of the Year in the 1970’s.

Bill never met a stranger and could converse with anyone on a wide range of topics. Joyce says that he acted like the mayor everywhere they went because he went around shaking hands and talking. He was extremely proud when Trey decided to go the U of A and enjoyed tailgating with him and the others in the Texarkana Tailgaters group.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents Ruth Jines Varner and Joe William Varner and a grandson, William Lewis “Trey” Varner, III. He is survived by his wife of 58 years Joyce Stewart Varner, one son and daughter in law, Bill Jr. and Sandy, one brother and sister in law, Joe Charles and Linda Varner, one sister in law and her husband, Carrie Stewart and Tommy Galloway, multiple nieces and nephews and various relatives as well as a host of friends both young and old.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Frist United Methodist Church, Texarkana, Arkansas or the Trey Varner Benevolent Scholarship Fund, 7002 Tall Oak Drive, Texarkana, AR. 71854.

Graveside service will be 10:00 A.M. Monday, November 26, 2018 at Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

Memorial service will be 11:00 A.M. Monday, November 26, 2018 at First United Methodist Church, Texarkana, AR. with Rev. Jaimie Alexander officiating.

Family will receive friends Sunday, November 25, 2018 from 3 to 5 P.M. at First United Methodist Church Cabe Center, 6th & Laurel Street, Texarkana, AR.

Condolences may be left at www.eastfuneralhomes.com
Services are under the care of East Funeral Home-Downtown.