US Navy
Official Obituary of

Lester Thomas Varnes

November 26, 1925 ~ March 18, 2024 (age 98) 98 Years Old
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Lester Varnes Obituary

Lester Varnes, 98, of Knoxville passed away in his sleep March 18, 2024.

Beloved brother, husband, father, father-in-law, and grandfather several times over.

Lovingly referred to as "Papaw," he was the proud and respected patriarch of a family for over 70 years.

He was a skilled gardener, fisherman, football fan, and teller of jokes.  His tales always brought laughs anywhere he went.

A proud Navy vet, Dad was Pappy Boyington's personal plane captain with the famed Black Sheep Squadron during WW2.

Dad was a 32nd degree Freemason with the Charles McKinney Lodge for nearly 60 years, with the rank of Master Mason.

Preceded in death by parents, Joe and Emma; siblings James, Lawrence, Annie, and Ruby.

He has finally rejoined his beloved wife, Jean, of 70 years, and sons, David and Wayne.

The surviving members of the family he so proudly headed are so numerous that they cannot all be listed.

Graveside service will be held at Lynnhurst Cemetery on Adair Drive, Monday, March 25, at 1 PM.  Rev. Michael Moore will be officiating.

Pallbearers will be his sons, Joey, Dan, and Chris; grandsons, great-grandsons, and nephew.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to the Veteran's Honor Guard of East Tennessee.  And learn more about your family elders while you still can.

The family would also like to express their appreciation to the kind nurses at UT Hospice for making him comfortable in his final weeks.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lester Thomas Varnes, please visit our floral store.

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Graveside Service
March 25, 2024

1:00 PM
Berry Lynnhurst Cemetery (Knoxville)


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