Vincent Varitek, 84

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Vincent Andrew Varitek, 84, of Mountain Home, died at a local nursing home on Aug. 6, 2003. Rosary was held on Friday, Aug. 8, at Summers Funeral Home McMurtrey Chapel in Mountain Home. Funeral mass was held on Saturday, Aug. 9, at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Mountain Home. Burial followed at Mountain View Cemetery in Mountain Home.

Vincent was born Aug. 29, 1918, in Ronco, Penn., to Vincent Peter and Mary (Tomko) Varitek. He was the 10th of 11 children; and was raised in Republic, Penn., where he attended school and graduated from Red Stone High School.

Vincent joined the Army Air Corps in March 1941. He went to basic training in Orlando, Fla., and attended aeronautics school in Philadelphia, Penn., in October 1941. He was stationed at Morrison Field in West Palm Beach where he met Lenora Ann Knox. They were married on March 8, 1943, at St. Ann's Catholic Church.

He was stationed at Homestead, Fla., and served as flight chief then later transferred to the 36th Air Port, Miami, Fla.

During WWII he served in Natal, Brazil, as a line chief -- the first stop for planes to be repaired to fly to the European Theater.

Vincent had a 21-year career in the Air Force. During his time in the Air Force he was flight engineer on the C-54s of the Berlin Airlift. At the time of the airlift, he was stationed at Mobile, Ala. Other bases where he was stationed were Tucson, Ariz., Mountain Home, South Africa and Carswell AFB in Fort Worth, Texas. His TDY assignments included Guam, Japan, and Alaska.

At the time of his retirement from the Air Force he brought Lenora and his family of six children back to Mountain Home, which they called home. At that time, Vincent went to work for the Civil Service in 1963 and retired in 1980.

After retirement, Vincent and Lenora traveled in their fifth wheel every winter to Arizona and South Padre Island in South Texas for a period of about five years. Due to Vincent's health, traveling eventually came to an end.

His daily unfurling and raising of the American flag demonstrated his patriotism. "He was proud to be an American and served his country well," his family said.

Vincent was a member of Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church and was a member of the third degree Knights of Columbus for over 25 years and was a Past Grand Knight. He was also a member of the Fourth Degree. He was called upon many times by different priests at the parish to help out in various ways. He always answered the call and helped out in ways that he could, whether it was to change a light bulb in the church or build an altar or end stands for the religious statues, he made time to serve his parish.

"Vincent was always a wonderful husband and father," his family said. "He was a good and kind family man. His family always came first."

Vincent had many hobbies. He was a self-taught carpenter and fix-it man. There wasn't anything that he couldn't fix. He loved working in the yard and while able had a small garden. He raised grapes and made wine to share with his family and close friends.

Vincent is survived by: his wife Lenora of 60 years, and six children, Dr. Vincent Varitek, Jr. and his wife, Marylyn, Julia Sandrus and her husband, William, Patricia Masten and her husband, William, Katherine Varitek and Paul Livesay, Cecilia Varitek, and Teresa Kosik and her husband, Michael; eight grandchildren; ten great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

His parents, four brothers, six sisters and one grandson preceded him in death.