In Memory

James Varvais

James Varvais

James R. "Jim" Varvais, 73, of South Sioux City, NE passed away on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at a Sioux City hospital.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at the Mohr Funeral Home in South Sioux City, NE. Burial will be in the Dakota City Cemetery in Dakota City, NE. Visitation with the family present will begin at 5:30 P.M. on Wednesday, May 20, 2015, with a prayer service at 7:00 P.M. at the funeral home.

Jim was born on September 18, 1941 in South Sioux City, NE, the son of Harold and Lavern (Kellogg) Varvais. He graduated from South Sioux City High School in 1960. He served in the U.S. Navy from March 17, 1961 to March 16, 1965, serving on the USS Bon Homme Richard aircraft carrier. After the service, Jim worked as a mechanic at Lobdell Service Station. In 1967 he began working for IBP, where he worked for twenty-four years. Jim married Toby Phelps on July 27, 1968. To this union two sons, James Carl and Timothy Edward were born. In 1991 Jim went to work for Mid American Energy, retiring after eight years. He then owned and operated Jim's Petro Stop for five years.

Jim was a member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, the Omadi Lodge #5 AF & AM, the Laura Chapter #301 Order of the Eastern Star and the South Sioux City American Legion Post #307.

He was an avid bowler and enjoyed golfing and spending time with his family.

Survivors include his wife, Toby Varvais of South Sioux City, NE; sons, James (Renate) Varvais of Dakota City, NE and Timothy (Kristeen) Varvais of South Sioux City, NE; one granddaughter, Courtney; three grandsons, Austin, James and Nicolas; a brother, Rex (Marie) Varvais of California; and several nieces and nephews.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Lavern Varvais; and siblings, Loren, Denzil, Yvonne Brower, Vivian Gaskins, Charles, Dale, Barbara, Tom and Caroldean.

In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials to the family for memorial designation to be determined at a later date.

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05/19/15 10:25 PM #1    

Donald Speulda

You will be greatly missed my friend.  RIP

05/20/15 08:14 AM #2    

Karen Burgess (Kohn)

I am happy that I was able to talk to you at our 50th reunion.  As I remember you from high school, you were a quiet and really nice young man.  Toby, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

05/20/15 11:21 AM #3    

Rodney Robertson

I remember "Jimmy" from grade school, jr. high and high school as an honest, dependable and giving friend.  After 50 years and seeing him at the reunion - he hadn't changed.  What a splendid example of a kind and loving human being.  RIP Jimmy!

05/20/15 11:28 AM #4    

Gary Fegley

JIm was always a genuinely friendly guy.. He was also, pound for pound, the toughest guy on the football team. He would never back down! I felt privelged that he performed the Eastern Star last rite rituals at my  Mom's funeral. He was one of the good ones and will be missed.

05/21/15 12:47 AM #5    

Diane Armour (Bartels)

I am so sad to learn of Jim's death. I had the opportunity to work with Jim this past year on our 55th class reunion. We had some great conversations! I loved his sense of humor although I was sometimes not sure if he were kidding or not! Such a handsome photo! My thoughts are with Toby and their family as they reflect upon and celebrate his life.

05/21/15 05:44 PM #6    

Duane Queen

The death of Jim Varvais has caused me to be in a reflective mood.  We started kindergarten together at Central School and from that time on we were classmates until graduating from high school.  Thirteen years as a classmate is a long time and therefore one has many memories.  Jim had a heart problem--a multiple by pass surgery, a stent, and a pacemaker.  I agree that Jim had a heart problem because he had a "big heart" and many of us were recepients of his big heart, which was often accompanied with his big smile. His death has also made me reflective because of where he died.  He died while attending to the garden at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Sioux City last Saturday.  I can only imagine the thoughts Jim was having while attending to one of God's gardens.  The old hymn "In the Garden" comes to mind with the lyrics "His voice to me is calling.  And He walks with me and He talks with me."  There could not have been a better place for Jim to have spent his last hour on this earth.  He was well deserving of such an ending!  Duane Queen


05/21/15 06:09 PM #7    

Karen Burgess (Kohn)

Duane, your words say so eloquently what I was thinking.  Thanks for those words of comfort.  I only knew him slightly in high school and not like those of you who went all through school with him.  

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