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I am a Veteran.Donald Dean Varley

April 13, 1932 - January 15, 2019

Donald Dean Varley, the fourth child of Thomas Albert Varley and Vinnie Opal Selph, passed away on January 15, 2019 at the age of 86. He was born on April 13, 1932 about 2:00 AM on a Wednesday. The house he was born in was two stories tall, located just east of Sheridan on a hill. This is near the water treatment plant that stands today.

Dean lived in Sheridan all of his childhood years and attended only one school that went from first grade to the twelfth grade. This was simply known as the Sheridan School. He was a very average student, and was able to play on the basketball, baseball and football teams. He graduated from high school here.

At age seventeen, he joined the Texas National Guard at Columbus for three years.

Dean had several jobs. Some were: driving a truck hauling rice from the field to the dryer in Altair, working at the local service station pumping gas and whatever needed to be done, drove a dump truck for small construction sites, roughnecked on drilling rigs around Sheridan and in Houston on workover rigs. By this time he realized there has to be a better way to make a living.

At age 20, in 1953, he decided to enlist in the U.S. Army. He took his tests and physical in Houston. Then they (other recruits) were put on a bus heading for San Antonio to Fort Sam Houston. They arrived there about 2:00 AM. The next day they got their shots, hair cuts, uniforms and $10.00 to purchase personal items like toothpaste and etc. Later that day they were assigned their barracks and given details. Details are duties like kitchen police (KP), cut grass and picking up litter. About 8 days later he was sent by train to Aberdeen, Maryland to 'Aberdeen Proving Ground', which was the basic training location.

After Aberdeen, he went to Atlanta General Depot in Georgia for ordnance school (body and fender repairs), which lasted 6 weeks. When he completed his training, he was able to go home for the first time for 5 days.

Next he was sent to Fort Ord, located close to Monterrey, California. They had orders to go to Korea, but they were canceled. After 2 weeks in Fort Ord, they were sent to Camp Erwin, 32 miles from Barstow, California. This camp was out in the Mojave Desert.

In 1954, he was shipped to Braconne Ordnance Depot near Angoulene in France where he met Jacqueline Tricard. In 1955, they changed his MOS and sent him to Paris, Saine Area Command, Military Police Detachment. In 1956, Jacqueline and he married in Paris and he adopted her son Bernard.

They left Paris in 1957 to go to Camp LeRoy Johnson in New Orleans, Louisiana. There he was discharged from the Army in 1958 and the next day enlisted in the US Air Force. He was sent to Sewart AFB at Smyrna, Tennessee. In 1960, he asked to go to Germany and was sent to Sembach Air Base in Germany.

In 1963, he was sent to Laughlin AFB in El Rio, Texas. Six months later, all of the 4080th Reconnaissance Wing was shipped to Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona. While he was there, he went TDY to Elmendolf AFB in Anchorage, Alaska. He was there for two 3 month tours.

In 1964, he was sent to Nha Trang in South Vietnam. In 1965, he came back to Lackland AFB in San Antonio. Being Air Police, his work was downtown in San Antonio. There in San Antonio, he and Jacqueline divorced. In 1966, he was sent to Lowry AFB in Denver, Colorado to another school. This school was the Munitions Maint. School.

In December 1966, he was shipped to Da Nang South Vietnam. He left there in late 1967 or early 1968 to Kincheloe AFB near Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. He stayed there 1 ½ years and decided it was too cold for him. He asked to go world wide.

He was sent to U Tapao, Thailand. About 1970, he was sent to George AFB in Victorville, California where he stayed for one year. Then I went back to Thailand to Udorn. In 1972, he left Thailand to go to Cannon AFB near Clovis, New Mexico. There he retired from the U.S. Air Force on February 28, 1973.

He served a total of 20 years and 15 days days in the military.

The same year, 1973, he met Betty Jean Lovgren. They married in Houston, Texas on July 14, 1973. In 1974, they purchased a house in LaPorte, just outside of Houston. From the start of their marriage, he worked at the Coca-Cola Company, Texas Highway Dept., and in 1974 began working at Southwest Chemical Co. in Seabrook. With training, he became a lab technician. He remained at Southwest for 17 years. In 1991, he retired for the second time and moved back to Sheridan at the age of 59.

On February 20, 1994, he was baptized by Bro. Brent Pittman and joined First Baptist Church in Sheridan. His family were active in this church when he was growing up. He was a member of the VFW Post #6113, American Legion Post #383, 366 Fighter Group Association and Air Force Sgts. Association.

Dean was preceded in death by his parents, sister Bernice Novella McCauley and brothers Ed "Corky" Varley and Richard Wayburn Varley.

He is survived by wife Betty Varley, son Bernard Varley (Terri), step-children Patricia Gazzoli, Christina Baskin (Michael), Joyce Worbington (John) and Michael Baecker, sisters Virginia Varley and Linda Newman (Bill) and brother Larry Varley (Darnell). He is also survived by ten grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.

Visitation will be on Saturday, January 19, 2019 from 9:30 until 10:30 at First Baptist Church in Sheridan. The funeral will begin at 10:30 with Pastor Allen Tangler officiating. Burial will follow at Cheetham Cemetery in Sheridan.

Serving as pallbearers are Jimmy Baskin, Travis Baskin, Brent Baecker, Mike Varley, Andrew Varley and Riley Worbington.

Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 229, Sheridan, Texas 77475 or charity of your choice.

 
 


Donald Dean Varley
April 13, 1932 - January 15, 2019
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