In Memory of Robert G. Varner

Robert G. Varner
Robert G. Varner
Born: March 7, 1933
Died: December 9, 2020
Age: 87
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Robert G. Varner
March 7, 1933 - December 9, 2020
From: Ida Grove, IA

Robert G. Varner, age 87, of Ida Grove, Iowa passed away on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, at the Horn Memorial Hospital of Ida Grove, Iowa. 

No Services will be held at this time. A Memorial Service will be held at a later date. The Christensen-Van Houten Funeral Home of Ida Grove, Iowa is in charge of the funeral arrangements.  Condolences may be sent online at

Robert Grier Varner was born March 7, 1933, in Newton, IA, the second of four children born to Harold Grier and Clara Nelda (VanderHart) Varner. He grew up in Reasnor, IA and attended high school in Newton where he graduated in 1951. Soon after he joined the U.S. Air Force and served his country for 11 years. After basic and technical training, he served three years at Ramey Air Force Base in Puerto Rico working in the control tower as an air to ground radio operator.

In February of 1955 he met Airman 1st Class Vera F. Clow and they were married on August 17, 1955. After returning to the states Bob was stationed in Abilene, TX, where his two oldest children were born, Daniel Grier and Vicky Jo. He was sent to school to become a cryptographer and was promptly sent to Saudi Arabia for a year.

Upon his return he was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, NE. Shortly thereafter he went to recruiter’s school and was stationed in Waterloo, IA, where he and his family lived for five years. While serving in the Waterloo area he was honored as Recruiter of the Week, Recruiter of the Month, and Recruiter of the Year. He felt his biggest achievement was helping establish the ASVAB testing program which was done in high schools for many years. 

After 11 years of service to his country, it was time to try civilian life. He and his wife were blessed with two more children, Robert Kevin and Nancy Jane. The family settled in Ida Grove, IA, in 1971 where Bob lived the rest of his life. When he moved to Ida Grove, he opened an office supply store which he owned for two years. He then bought a dry-cleaning business in Mapleton, IA and after three years moved it to Ida Grove. In 1989 he and a few partners built and owned the Pronto Market convenience store on the property where the dry-cleaning shop had been. They sold Pronto in 2017 to Casey’s.

Bob served in the Iowa National Guard for 12 years and he and his wife were very active in the American Legion for many years. In later years he became interested in the water softener business and developed his own softener which he was still working on when he had a heart attack in 2012 and had to retire. 

Left to remember him is his loving wife of 65 years, Vera Varner of Ida Grove, IA; his children Daniel G. Varner (Diane Dolly) of Sioux City, IA, Vicky Jo Varner (Robin Wiley) of Hollywood, CA, Robert K. Varner (Pauline Hogan) of Englewood, CO and Nancy J. (Keith) McPeters of Canyon Country, CA; grandchildren: Nathan (Stacia), Nicholas (Kari), Noel (Julie) Varner, Heather (Richard) Iler, Michael (Ashley) Ryan, and Emily McPeters; great-grandchildren: Xavier, Rohan and Janik Varner, Julianna, Ruby, Theodore and Lucille Varner, Lily McPeters, and Deanasaurus Iler; brother Gary (Kathleen) Varner of Manford, OK; sister Phyllis Rhynd of Riverside, CA; extended family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents Harold and Clara Varner; and his older sister Vivian Dobson.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Robert’s name to the McNamara-Moore Post #61 of the American Legion in Ida Grove, IA or to the Horn Hospice in Ida Grove, IA.



No Services At This Time


Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 10:16 AM
“Sending love to you. Uncle Bob was easy company to enjoy, and he set an example of ingenuity and enterprise. Blessings to you all as you adjust to this loss. ”
- DeeDee Varner
Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 9:14 AM
“Our sympathy to you...I have fond memories of Bob. ”
- Ann Holst
Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 4:27 PM
“Dear Vera and family. So sorry to hear of your loss. Bob was a lovely, thoughtful, caring, cheerful man. Our thoughts are with you all. ”
- Sally Collard-Wiley and all the Wiley clan
Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 8:22 PM
“Hi Vera, We are sorry to hear about Bob. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Fred and Catherine ”
- Fre Larrison and Catherine Smith
Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 9:34 AM
“Vera and family- our hearts are heavy as we send you our sympathy. We pray for peace for you all. Bob was a good man and respected by many. We were blessed to have known him through our Stars and Stripes OES family. We send you are Love!
Becky and David Nolte”
- Becky & David Nolte
Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 9:34 AM
“I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. You guys were awesome neighbors and great friends to Bill and Wilma (my parents). Our prayers are with your family.”
- Linda wonder
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