Leo H. Varel


Leo H. Varel, age 93 of Carlyle, entered into rest on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, at Elmwood Nursing and Rehab Center in Maryville. Leo is the father of Pat Potthast of Greenville.

Mr. Varel was born on September 14, 1922, in Bartelso, Illinois, a son of Louis and Mary T. (Pingsterhaus) Varel. He married Marcella Kalmer on June 22, 1948, in Damiansville and she preceded him in death on November 21, 2009.

Mr. Varel is survived by 6 daughters – Pat Potthast and husband Dennis of Greenville, Vera Fesenmeyer and husband Ed of St. Louis, Elaine Horstmann and husband John of Bartelso, Geralyn Johnson and husband R. Bruce of Highland, Marion Leitner of Edwardsville and Karen Timmermann of Aviston; a son – Leon Varel and wife Mary Jo of Bartelso; a son-in-law – Jim Buehne of St. Rose; 20 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren; his brothers and sisters – Clara Huelsmann of Bartelso, Lucy Korte of Highland, Laura Laux of Breese, and Edwin “Ep” Varel of Carlyle; and his in-laws – Hugo Wilke of St. Rose, Jerome Koerkenmeier of Damiansville, and Ralph Thole of St. Rose.

He was preceded in death by her parents; his wife, Marcella; a daughter – Janice Buehne; a son-in-law – Jack Leitner; his brothers and sisters – Agnes Holtmann and husband Joe, Louis Varel, Jr., and Martha Duing and husband Walter; and his in-laws – Verena Rensing and husband Emil, Joseph Kalmer and wife Virginia, Virginia Kalmer, Mary Ruth Wilke, Mary Rita Koerkenmeier, Margaret Thole, Lawrence Kalmer and wife Virginia, Irlene Varel, Joe Huelsmann, Alfred Korte, and Laverne Laux.

Leo was a dairy and grain farmer, and when he wasn’t working he loved to spend time with his grandchildren and play pinochle. He was a member of St. Cecilia Church in Bartelso, then of St. Mary’s Church after he and his wife moved to Carlyle. Mr. Varel was a member of the Knights of Columbus Carlyle Council 1382, a volunteer fireman with the Bartelso Fire Department, and also served on the Mater Dei High School Board.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday, March 29, 2016, at St. Mary’s Church in Carlyle with Fr. George Mauck, celebrant. Interment will follow at St. Cecilia Cemetery in Bartelso. Visitation will be held at Zieren Funeral Home on Monday, March 28, from 4:00 – 8:00 P.M. and on Tuesday from 8:00 – 9:30 A.M.

Expressions of sympathy in memory of Mr. Varel may be made to the Bartelso Volunteer Fire Department or in the form of Masses and will be accepted at the funeral home.

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