Helen Van Os Phillips Varley

June 12, 1928 ~ March 15, 2021


March 20, 2021
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Larkin Mortuary 260 E South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
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    March 20, 2021
    11:30 AM
    Larkin Mortuary 260 E South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
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    Helen Varley, our dear Mother and Grandma passed away at 93 surrounded by her loving family on Monday, March 15, 2021. Helen will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her.

    Helen lived a full and joyful life filled with many challenges and accomplishments. She was born on June 12, 1928 to Cornelius “Kees” Van Os and Gerdiena “Deina” Van Tussenbroek in Salt Lake City, UT. She graduated from West High School and attended the University of Utah. Helen married Marvin C. Phillips on May 6, 1948 in Salt Lake City, Utah. They were blessed with three wonderful children: Vikki, Marc and Rick. Sadly, Rick passed away in a tragic auto-pedestrian accident at the age of three in 1960 and unfortunately, Marvin was very ill for most of his life. He passed away in 1970. Helen struggled to be the breadwinner and caretaker of her family. She was a very loving and caring mother.

    Helen enjoyed success in her professional life. She was an Executive Secretary to the office of Governor J. Bracken Lee; an Administrative Assistant in the Dean's office at the U of U College of Medicine; an Administrative Assistant to the U of U Vice President of University Relations; and was employed in office managerial positions at various financial institutions and businesses.

    Helen married Charles Raymond “Ray” Varley on December 22, 1979 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Shortly after their marriage, Helen and Ray moved to Bellingham, Washington. While there, Helen was employed at Western Washington University. After Ray’s retirement in 1984, they moved back to Salt Lake City. Ray became ill with Parkinson’s and Helen took loving care of him until his death in 2007. Helen dedicated her life to her family and tried to make life the best for her family.

    Helen loved swimming! She was an Intermountain AAU Freestyle and Backstroke award winner, setting many records during her swimming career. She enjoyed swimming four days every week until she was 78 years old. Helen loved to ski, hike, camp and travel. She was an excellent seamstress, loved to cook delicious food, and later in life discovered a love of painting. She painted many beautiful pictures that her family cherishes. Helen was an avid reader and loved to study many subjects, especially the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She enjoyed book clubs, dinner groups and the arts. Helen served in many church callings such as chorister and Stake Speech Director. She especially loved teaching in the Relief Society.
    Helen spent her last few months being cared for by the wonderful people at The Grand at Holladay. She always took time to get to know people and what was important in their lives. She strived to love others as the Savior did. She dearly loved her family and friends and would do anything she could for them. She was a great example to many people. We will miss her always, but we are grateful that she is no longer in pain and has been reunited with her sweet son Rick, her first love Marvin and her second love Ray, her parents Kees and Deina, her younger sister Joanne Allcott Buettgenbach, and her two younger brothers, William “Bill” and Adrian Van Os.

    She is survived by her children Vikki (Marvin) Mills of Escondido, CA and Marc (Kelley) Phillips of Kuna, ID; her step-children: Victoria (Scott) Hawkins of Texas, Kristine (Randy) Vest of Texas, Doug (Denice) Varley of Wyoming, David (Joanne) Varley of Iowa, Mike (Suzanne) Varley of Colorado, Alan (Maribel) Varley of Texas, and Keith (Lisa) Varley of Utah. Her granddaughters Spring (Benjamin) Clark of West Jordan, UT, Kim Warnecke of Sandy, UT and Holly Phillips of Anchorage, AK; and her grandsons, Luke (Robyn) Phillips of Grand Junction, CO, Cody (Mikayla) Phillips of Anchorage, AK and Jeff (Amy) Mills of Kennesaw, GA; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and some great-great grandchildren.
    Funeral services will be held at Larkin Mortuary, 260 East South Temple, SLC on Saturday, March 20. A viewing will be held from 10-11 am, with services following at 11:30 am. Interment to follow the services at the Salt Lake City Cemetery.


    Helen is my hero. She was valiant in every way and always wise and kind. I was one of her ministering sisters, and before that her visiting teacher. I always learned more from her than she ever learned from me. What a sweet, sweet Sister. We had many wonderful times together in her lovely home. She will be missed by us, but heaven is the recipient of a grand lady. Oh what fun she will have seeing all her loved ones again, and to be out of pain will be such a blessing to her. COVID may have kept us apart for awhile, but she has always been in my heart. She still is and will be forever. I look forward to the day when we can meet again and maybe have a little swim together. She can teach me more about that too! I am hoping there is a pool in heaven for her.

    - Allayne Orr
    I was very sorry to read and hear about Helen passing. She was spectacular person. I grew up with Marc, Vicky and remember Ricky. A very tragic loss for our neighborhood. I remember her taking us swimming picking us kids up from playing at Five Point shopping center as would shop and dink around. I worked with Helen when she was David Gardner’s Administrative assistant at the University of Utah. She was alway kind, helpful and a great resource for kids growing up in Woods Cross. Godspeed to family and friends. She will be missed! Our deepest condolences, Kim Payne

    - Kim Payne
    We extend our love and sympathy to the Varley family, and particularly to Alan, who served with us forty years ago in Chile. Alan, though your time with us was cut short by illness we still have record of your testimony and service in our zone conference notes. Thank you! May the Lord's comfort and Spirit be with you and your family in this sacred hour. Gerald & LuAnn Day

    - Gerald & LuAnn Day
    Vikki and Mark, You two and your Mom have such a warm and large place in my childhood memories. I've always thought your mother was so beautiful. Her smile I can still see and her laughter I can still hear. As children we didn't know the depths of some of the hardships faced by our parents. Your mother never let on, she was always so kind and gracious. I know you will surely miss her. May the love of our Savior be your comfort and hope and bring you peace. Love Kathryn

    - Kathryn Hendry Reeves
    Helen was my first cousin and I always loved her. She was such a genteel kind person who always exuded optimism. She never lost her beauty despite a difficult life. I send my love and condolences. Wish I could be at the funeral but I don't drive on the freeway any more and I live in Orem.

    - Carolyn Van Tussenbroek Brooks
    Vicki, we are so sorry to hear of your moms passing, we never had the pleasure of meeting her, but she sounds like a very wonderful lady, we all know how much she meant to you, and we pray that God wraps you in his loving arms, and give’s you strength and peace during this difficult time. We are thinking of you,and wishing we could be with you.Sending heart felt prayers for you and your family. We love you!!! Rocky & Skip 😪💔❤️

    - Roxanne Mills