Harriet M. Varvil, age 92, passed away Monday, February 14, 2022 at OSF St. Francis Hospital in Escanaba, MI with her loving family by her side.
Harriet was the daughter of Fred and Emma Klumb. She was born in Marathon County, WI, on February 8, 1930. She later moved to Marquette, MI, where she attended high school and met the love of her life, Howard C. Varvil. They were married for 59 years until Howard preceded her in death on December 12, 2007. They raised their children, Howard Jr. and Marsha in Escanaba.
Harriet’s parents, Fred and Emma Klumb moved from WI to Marquette, MI in the early 1930’s, where Harriet attended Gravaret High School. Her parents built the Northwoods Supper Club which was opened in 1934. The Northwoods was a source of life-long pride to Harriet. She worked alongside her parents until she retired in 1997. She derived great satisfaction from her relationships with both customers and staff and remained in contact with some of them until the end of her life. Her primary joy, however, came from the sense of family that she enjoyed in working with her parents and family. The Northwoods employed 3 generations of family including her brother (Ronald and his wife, Ardis) and sister Dorothy Van Dreel (and her husband, Virgil); the children of all three families; and some of the grandchildren. Harriet always had a strong sense of family and pride in the Northwoods which were the driving forces of her life.
Harriet instilled her devotion to hard work and family in her children. Both worked at the Northwoods in their early years and have many memories of family gatherings at the Northwoods sharing meals with cousins, aunts and uncles. Food, and the sharing of meals was always a large part of the family focus.
Harriet’s other life-long passions were her involvement with Bethany Lutheran Church and she loved playing bridge. She was active in her church circle, helped serve meals at Bay de Noc College sponsored by Bethany and attended church almost every Sunday until the end of her life. The church family was a source of comfort and friendship to her over the years and became more important to her after the death of her husband. Harriet’s other life-long passion was bridge. She was an avid bridge player for almost 60 years. She began playing when she was a young mother and often talked about learning to play when she lived in Ironwood, MI. When she moved to Escanaba, one of the first things she did was join a bridge club and she continued to play until her final days.
She is survived by her two children, Howard C. Varvil, Jr. of Au Train, Michigan, and Marsha Varvil-Weld and her husband, Douglas of Lakewood Colorado; Howard’s children, Michael and Vicki Varvil of Escanaba; Marsha’s children, Lindsey of San Jose, California (and Lindsey’s husband, Marcus) and Bradley of Lakewood, Colorado. She is also survived by two great-grandchildren, Eloise and Vivienne Cullen of San Jose. Howard Jr. was preceded in death by his loving companion, Carolyn Gorgita.
The family wishes to thank OSF St. Francis Hospital and staff for their kind and compassionate care at the time of Harriet’s passing. The support and concern for the family, as well as Harriet, was greatly appreciated at this difficult time. We wish to also thank Anderson Funeral Home for their helpful guidance and direction.
Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Saturday, February 19, 2022 at the Anderson Funeral Home in Escanaba. Funeral services celebrating the life of Harriet will follow at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, in the Anderson Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Terry Frankenstein officiating. A luncheon will be served following the funeral services in the Anderson Funeral Home Reception Room. We welcome all to attend. The family requests that face masks be worn during the time of visitation and service.
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