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Evelyn Varley

July 31, 1943 December 6, 2022
Evelyn  Varley
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Obituary for Evelyn Varley

Evelyn Louise (Roberts) Varley After a tenacious battle against pancreatic cancer, Evelyn left this earthly coil on her own terms on December 6, 2022. She was born to Ellen (Cooper) Roberts and Noel Burdell Roberts in Faulkton, SD, on July 31, 1943. Her younger sisters, Eileen Kay and Beverly Ann, followed completing the family. Living in various states during the war, the family returned to her father’s roots in Iowa, living in Oskaloosa, Montezuma and settling in Menlo, IA, where her father was the barber and Town Clerk for many years. Her mother worked in the Menlo school kitchen. Evelyn started sixth grade at the Menlo school and graduated from Menlo High School in 1962. During high school, she played 6 on 6 girls’ basketball all four years. During a tournament game, she hurt her ankle but was determined to finish the game.


Another new student in her sixth-grade class was a boy named Carl James Varley. Evelyn and Carl were married on October 20, 1962, in the Little Brown Church in Nashua, IA. Their union was blessed with three children: Stephen James, Julie Lynn and Cathy Ellen.


After moving around the Midwest, the young family moved to Peoria, IL, in 1972. Even with three young children, Evelyn was determined to complete her bachelors’ degree. She attended five universities over 15 years, graduating from Bradley University in 1975. Evelyn was extremely active in her community. She lovingly raised her children, was a school room-mother, engaged in many church activities, played tennis and bowled weekly, and worked with underprivileged children helping them to learn to read. She also became adept at managing rental properties.


Much to her delight in 1989, the first two of her grandchildren were born, followed by six more over the next decade - Brianna, Caitlin, Sara, Kevin, Alaina, Anna, Preston and Rachel. In 1998, she and Carl returned to their Iowa roots when they moved to Clive. It was there, they turned an ordinary yard into a garden paradise with a large water feature. Wine by the water garden was a favorite pastime until her medication ruined the taste of wine. Doting on her grandchildren was another favorite activity, especially each summer when they would come for Camp Grandma and a week at Living History Farms day camp. Evelyn’s passions were her numerous collies, cats and backyard wildlife. Evelyn loved traveling, visiting all 50 states, numerous foreign countries, and multiple trips to Disney World. She was very active with Needles of Love at Walnut Hills UMC and loved quilting.


Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October 2021, she was given a prognosis of a few months. She was having none of that. With her relentless drive and Iowa stubbornness, she excelled in treatment, seeing her cancer markers drop substantially. She had a fall in June 2022, resulting in a broken hip which was quickly replaced. Being advised to spend some time in a rehab facility, she was not about to put up with that, demonstrating that she could get up and walk the day after surgery. The doctors relented, and she went home. Sadly, in August, she was advised that her chemo treatments were no longer effective. She tried another chemo course, but the cure was worse than the disease. With her fierce determination, she decided to live out her life on her own terms and remain in her home. When it became apparent that she would need help with hospice care, Evelyn vehemently resisted but grew to love her caregivers.

With constant visits from family and friends, she was rarely alone, probably even when she wanted to be. On a magical Saturday in October, she and Carl celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with all their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren together for the first time since before the pandemic.


Evelyn was pre-deceased by her parents and sisters. She is survived by her husband Carl; children Stephen (Judith) Varley, Julie Bautista and Cathy (Peter) Scherr; grandchildren Brianna (Tyler) Moser, Caitlin (Graham) Wellman, Sara (Ryan Smith) Bautista, Kevin (Alejandra) Varley, Alaina Bautista, Anna Varley, Preston Scherr and Rachel Scherr; great grandchildren Evelyn Moser, Lillian Moser, Reid Wellman and Jocelyn “Jo-zay” Moser. Evelyn’s last goal was to meet Jo-zay. Her due date was December 6th. We’re still waiting.


Visitation will be 5-7 pm Friday, December 9th at Johnson Family Funeral Home 123 NE 2nd St Stuart IA. Graveside service will be at 9 am on Saturday, December 10th at Jefferson Center Cemetery Menlo IA followed by a Celebration of Life at Walnut Hills UMC – 10:30 Visitation and 11:30 Celebration Service 12321 Hickman Road Urbandale IA.


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network 1500 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 200 Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, or Furry Friends, 3505 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, IA 50265.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

9

Dec

5:00 PM 12/9/2022 5:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 12/9/2022 7:00:00 PM
Johnson Family Funeral Home

123 N.E. 2nd St
Stuart,, IA 50250

Johnson Family Funeral Home
123 N.E. 2nd St Stuart, 50250 IA
United States

Graveside

Saturday

10

Dec

9:00 AM 12/10/2022 9:00:00 AM
Jefferson Center Cemetery

Rural Adair County, IA

Jefferson Center Cemetery
Rural Adair County IA
United States

Visitation

Saturday

10

Dec

10:30 AM 12/10/2022 10:30:00 AM - 11:30 AM 12/10/2022 11:30:00 AM
Walnut Hills Methodist Church

12321 Hickman Rd
Urbandale, IA 50323

Walnut Hills Methodist Church
12321 Hickman Rd Urbandale 50323 IA
United States

Service

Saturday

10

Dec

11:30 AM 12/10/2022 11:30:00 AM
Walnut Hills Methodist Church

12321 Hickman Rd
Urbandale, IA 50323

Walnut Hills Methodist Church
12321 Hickman Rd Urbandale 50323 IA
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Jefferson Center Cemetery Final Resting Place

Rural Adair County, IA

Rural Adair County IA
United States
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