Brother Charles Varnak, 89, served on PT boats

VALATIE—Brother Charles Varnak, C.S.C. died peacefully at Barnwell Nursing Home, the morning of November 19, 2010. He was 89 years

old and had been a professed member of the Congregation of Holy Cross for 62 years.

Charles Andrew Varnak was born May 28, 1921 in Crucible, Pennsylvania the third of the five children of George and Pauline (Koperdak) Varnak. The Varnaks were members of Holy Rosary Parish in Republic, Pennsylvania, where they made their home.


Brother Charles received his elementary education at Republic Grammar School and his secondary education at Republic’s Redstone High School. He pursued his higher education at Pennsylvania’s Waynesburg College, where he received his bachelor of science degree May 16, 1943. During his senior year he was the captain of the Waynesburg basketball team. In August 1955, he received a master of arts degree from the University of Notre Dame. During his undergraduate summers he worked in the coal mines near his home.

Shortly after graduating from college he joined the U.S. Navy and attained the rank of Lieutenant, junior grade. Assigned to P.T. Boats, he spent 1943 to 1946 on active duty in the South Pacific, the Philippines and Hawaii. After leaving the navy he spent one summer playing minor league baseball with the Olean Oilers of the Brooklyn System.

On March 21, 1947, Brother Charles was accepted as a candidate for the brotherhood in the Congregation of Holy Cross at St. Joseph Juniorate in Valatie. The following August 15 he received the habit of the Holy Cross

Brothers and the name Brother Charles at St. Joseph Novitiate in Rolling Prairie, Indiana. He made his first profession of vows at the Novitiate in August 1948.

On August 16, 1951, he made perpetual profession at Sacred Heart Church, Notre Dame, Indiana.

BrotherCharles spent most of his ministerial life in the schools conducted by the Holy Cross Brothers in New York, Massachusetts and Ohio as a teacher and athletic director. He later did a three year stint on the staff of Mater Ecclesiae Center in Tiberias, Israel. In recent years, he did volunteer work among the elderly and the poor. In 1994, he retired to St. Joseph Center in Valatie where he busied himself doing grounds maintenance work.

A wake service for Brother Charles Varnak will be held at 7 p.m. Monday,November 22 in the Chapel of St. Joseph Center in Valatie. A Mass of

Christian Burial will be held in the same chapel at 11 a.m. Tuesday,November 23. Interment will follow immediately in the Holy Cross Community Cemetery on the grounds of St. Joseph Center.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Joseph Center Retirement Fund.


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