Vigen Memorial Home obituary - Elaine H. Varner, 88, Keokuk


Elaine H. Varner, 88, of Keokuk, Iowa, passed away Monday, August 16, 2021 at her home in the presence of loving family.

     She was born to Henry and Helen (Emde) Suhr on January 2, 1933 on a farm south of Oakdale, NE.  She was the youngest of six children.  She tragically lost her mother a year later in 1934.  After her father’s death in 1948, she moved with her brother Marvin and his family to Webster City, IA. She graduated from Webster City High School with the Class of 1950.  She then attended Carthage College in Carthage, IL for two years.

     On June 11, 1955, Elaine was united in marriage to Russell Varner at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Keokuk.  They made their home in Keokuk where they raised their family of five children.

    Elaine had worked as a secretary at Electro Metals in Keokuk for three years, until the end of 1955.  The remainder of her life was devoted to making a wonderful home for her family.

      She was a member of All Saints Catholic Church in Keokuk and was a faithful volunteer at many church activities and functions.

     She loved genealogy and tracing her family’s history.  Most of all Elaine enjoyed being a homemaker and her greatest joy was taking care of her family.

       She is survived by four sons, Steve Varner (Deb) and Dave Varner (Brenda) of Keokuk, Don Varner (Adriana) of Andover, MN and Tom Varner of O’Fallon, MO, one daughter, Carol Glasford (Gary) of Norwalk, IA, nine grandchildren, Kris, Michelle, Julie, Elizabeth, Tim, Nathan, Mike, Melissa and Michael, six great-grandchildren and one brother, Norman Suhr of Peninsula, OH. 

     She was preceded in death by her husband, Russell on October 4, 1999, three sisters, Charlotte Steinke, Mildred Kinnan and Lorraine Jones, one brother, Marvin Suhr and one granddaughter, Rebecca Varner.

     A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, August 23, 2021 at All Saints Catholic Church in Keokuk.  Burial will be in Oakland Cemetery in Keokuk.

     Visitation will be held after 1 p.m. on Sunday, August 22, 2021 at Vigen Memorial Home in Keokuk with family meeting with friends from 5 – 7 p.m.  A rosary will be recited at 7 p.m.

     Memorials may be made to All Saints Catholic Church or the Keokuk Catholic Schools.

     Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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