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Sylvia A. (McLaughlin) Varney

December 13, 1932 ~ August 3, 2023 (age 90) 90 Years Old
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East Brookfield - Sylvia A. (McLaughlin) Varney, 90, of East Brookfield, died on Thursday, August 3, 2023 at her home.

She leaves her sons, Richard Varney and his wife Ellen of Spencer, Gene Varney and Toni Coski of North Brookfield, and Lex Varney of East Brookfield; her daughters, Pamela LeBeau of East Brookfield, and Diahn Simonelli of East Brookfield; three brothers, Clifford W. McLaughlin of Sunderland, and Harold and Michael McLaughlin, both of Hicksville, NY; her step-mother, Julieta McLaughlin of Hicksville, NY, six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and two nephews.  She was predeceased by her husband of 57 years Donald F. Varney and her son, Dane Varney.  She was born in Worcester, daughter of the late Theodore T. and Bernice J. (Wood) McLaughlin.

Along with Donald, she owned Varney’s Garage in East Brookfield, and took care of all of the bookkeeping and accounting for the school bus businesses, the Ford dealership, and the automotive repair business. And she somehow found time to love her large family of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

Sylvia loved to travel near and far with the family and has been to Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Canada, Japan, Alaska, Europe, Florida, and many trips especially to Hicksville, NY to see family, as well as, NY City. Her last trip, just two months ago, was to the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, MA with her granddaughter Alicia.  When not traveling, she thoroughly enjoyed living on Lake Lashaway with its beautiful sunrises, sailboat races, skiing, fishing and swimming for the family! She participated in the local Senior Center and their trips. There were many trips to see her grandson Tom, and Rosie Porter entertain, sing and play the guitar and keyboard at different venues. She also loved to read to the school students at the elementary school in North Brookfield.

Sylvia and Donald had purchased a second home in Bradenton, FL and spent over 30 years enjoying the Florida weather with family and friends, ironically in the middle of summer for most of those years, because that was the only time they could get away from the school bus business for a month.

Sylvia grew up in Worcester, MA, then moved to Rochester, NY, Mount Vernon, NY and then to Mexico City, Mexico where she learned Spanish (Grandpa Ted felt it was disrespectful not to be able to speak the local language).

Sylvia had great faith, and credits her long, well-fulfilled life in part to her faith in God.

She was a long-time member of the First Congregational Church of North Brookfield, and most recently attended the East Brookfield Baptist Church.  She enjoyed singing in the local church choirs and cantatas, reading at home, and writing letters and cards to family and friends.

A Celebration of Life for Sylvia will be held on Wednesday, August 16th, 2023 at 3:00pm in the East Brookfield Baptist Church, 262 East Main St., in East Brookfield.   In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Heifer International , Wounded Warriors or the East Brookfield Baptist Church

Varnum Funeral Home, Inc., 43 East Main St., in West Brookfield is assisting her family with arrangements. 

An online guest book is available at 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sylvia A. (McLaughlin) Varney, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
August 16, 2023

3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
East Brookfield Baptist Church
262 East Main Street
East Brookfield, MA 01515


Heifer International
1 World Ave., Little Rock AR 72202

Wounded Warrior Project
4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville FL 32256
Tel: 1-877-832-6997


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