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.