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Patricia Theresa (Rief) Varner, age 92, passed away October 21, 2022.

Beloved mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, passed away on Friday, October 21, 2022 at 92 years old. Patricia (Patty)  was born September 15, 1930 and grew up in Buffalo, MN, raised her family in Richfield, MN and she and Dad enjoyed retirement on their hobby farm in Richmond, MN for many years.

Our Mom loved her family and showed us all how much in so many ways.  She loved setting a beautiful table and cooking for her friends and family.  Her baking was renowned by all, especially the cookies and pies. She loved holidays and gathering her family together at Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter.  She was an expert seamstress and every Easter we had beautiful new clothes. She always dressed beautifully, was a very dignified person and very devout. Mom loved her time at the cabin built by our father on Horseshoe Lake. For 22 years, we gathered at a summer resort in Alexandria, MN. Family traveled from Europe and the US to gather for those wonderful days at Tip Top Cove.  Mom and Dad loved road trips to Florida, Alaska, and visiting around the U.S. and trips to Germany, Ireland, Scotland, and Colombia.  She loved hearing everything we said from all the details of our lives to thinking we were the funniest people in the world.  She adored her grand and great grandchildren, and it gave her great pleasure to search for just the right presents every Christmas for each of them.  We are very sad to lose her, but happy she is now with our Dad.
Preceded in death by her husband, Vance Varner, her father, Raymond Rief, her mother, Linda Rief and great granddaughter Gretchen Sinclair.  Survived by her children, Debra (Gregory Matthews) Varner, Stephen (Sue) Varner, Kevin (Nancy) Varner, Kim (Fred) Anderson, Cecilia (Mike) Richter, brother, Michael (Joyce) Rief, and sister, Kathleen (Edward) Callahan; grandchildren, Sean (Maxine) Kennedy, Marta (Matt) Kritta, Samuel (Taylor Kelleher) Matthews, Bethany (Ryan) Peterson, Zachary (Nicole Patching) Varner; Lilly Varner; Brittany (Eric) Sinclair, Molly (Nathan) Criswell, Abigail (Andrew) Olker, Clara (John) Navin, Erik (Kari) Richter; and 12 beloved great grandchildren; Rowan, Piper, Beckett, Hazel, Iris, Aveline, Ian, Kylee, Jack, Nora, Henry and Margaret.
Please consider a donation to St. Croix Hospice or the Alzheimer’s Association in her memory rather than flowers.
Our family is filled with gratitude to St. Croix Hospice and Monticello St. Benedict’s Community for the loving care they have given to our Mother.  She was loved by all there and they are truly angels.

Visitation will be held Monday, November 14, 2022 from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM at The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo, MN.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday, November 15, 2022 at 11:00 AM with visitation one hour prior at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Buffalo, MN. Interment to follow at St. Francis Cemetery in Buffalo.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo, MN. Online condolences for the family may be directed to

7 Guestbook Entries

  1. Shirley Bell

    Sending all our deepest sympathy and love.

  2. Mary kay wyckoff harcus

    Pat and Vance THE MOST WONDERFUL NEIGHBORS. We were sad to see them move but made it a habit to always swing by on our way to ND. JUST LOVED HEARING ABOUT YOUR WHOLE FAMILY. MUCH LOVE

  3. Brian & DeDee Varner

    There couldn’t have been a more kinder and caring person than Aunt Pat was. My memory is she made people happy with her genuine cheerfulness. Her skillful making of apple pie helped too. So good!
    I send our deepest sympathies and love to her family.

  4. Gloria Moran

    My most sincere sympathies, thought, and prayers that you will all continue to be blessed with all the special memories you have of your beloved Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother. 🙏🏼s and 💙💜

  5. Cathy Frank

    My deepest sympathies and prayers goes out to your family.
    She will be missed.

  6. Mark Matthews

    Patricia Varner was a gracious and kind human being. Loved by all! May she rest in peace in heaven and join with friends and relatives. A loving and caring person to all she met.

  7. Terri MulQueeny-Stern

    Patty was a true gem of a person. My childhood is rife with memories of Varner-Mulqueeny gatherings and my husband and I were lucky to have many chats over pieces of her delicious pie on our yearly visits to Minnesota. We were always impressed that she knew exactly what each of her many progeny were up to! May her memory be a blessing to all whose lives she touched.


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