BOWERBANK – Robert Owen Varnum, 69, loving father of two, died of complications from open heart surgery, at Shands Medical Center at the University of Florida, Gainesville on March 31, 2014. He was born May 12, 1944, in Dover-Foxcroft.
He attended the University of Maine in Orono for Agricultural Science and served in the Army National Guard for six years during the late 60s and early 70s.
Robert lived and worked his entire life on the River Road in Sebec at the Varnum Farms family dairy business. At times we thought his middle name was actually John Deere: he first sat upon a tractor at age five and fell madly in love. He met the love of his life, the actual human form, at Green Acres General Store in 1970, yes, 44 years ago. He and Ruth bonded easily over sports and he became a part of the Nason family effortlessly. Often described by everyone he encountered during his 69 years, as “the nicest man I’ve ever met in my entire life,” Robert was always good for a very witty laugh and silly sarcasm. He was an avid fan of FA sports, the Red Sox, motorcycles and ice cream. In recent years, he wintered in Florida and met many great friends at Big Oaks RV Resort in Spring Hill, Fla. He will be missed intensely by his loved ones and friends.
He is survived by his loving wife of 39 years, Ruth Nason Varnum of Bowerbank, and Spring Hill, Fla.; two daughters, Bethany E. Varnum, 35, of Land O’ Lakes, Fla., and Katie R. Varnum, 31, of Masaryktown, Fla.; and a much beloved mini-dachshund, Mileigh. He leaves two sisters, Dorna Zilinsky of Sanford, and Diane Smith of Old Town; and a younger brother, Ryan Varnum of Hopland, Calif.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in Robert’s name to The Living Word Ecumenical Food Cupboard, 176 East Main St., Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426. Visiting hours will be held 1-3 p.m. Sunday, April 6, at Lary Funeral Home, 62 Summer St., Dover-Foxcroft, with a reception immediately following 3-7 p.m. at Sebec Events Center, 676 Milo Road, Sebec, to share food, stories and warm thoughts. A graveside service will be held the first week of June. Condolences and memories may be expressed at www.laryfuneralhome.com.