|Varlyn D. Fink
November 11, 1937 – May 6, 2018
|Varlyn D. Fink passed away on May 6, in Rancho Mirage, California, after a short illness. Varyn was eighty years young and was finishing the winter season in the California Desert. Varlyn was born November 11, 1937, in Summer, the fourth child of Alvetta and Frederick Fink. He was raised on the farm in Maynard and attended Iowa State University graduating with a degree in agriculture and subsequently a master’s degree in adult education. On April 24, 1965, Varlyn married Jane (Costello), and they recently celebrated fifty-three years of marriage. He and Jane had three children and made their home in Anamosa.
Varlyn worked for thirty-three years for Iowa State Extension Service running 4-H youth programs in Jones and Jackson Counties. Never one to sit idle, Varlyn also built and owned multiple apartment properties in Anamosa, as well as managed the family farms.
In Varlyn’s childhood, he survived a sudden illness when the local doctor removed a ruptured appendix in a one room country office. Varlyn attributed his vitality for life and trust in God to this incident and forever kept the door knocker from this country office as a tribute to Dr. Hall who saved him.
Varlyn developed other lifelong interests in his youth: raising prize winning sheep through Fayette County FFA and teaching himself guitar. Varlyn’s involvement in FFA led to a career focused on youth and youth development. Varlyn had a deep love of music and guitars at a young age. He played in a number of bands: the Bob-o-links at Iowa State and the Versatiles in Jones County, St. Paul’s Praise Band and, recently, with the Heritage Palm Cats in his desert community in California. He taught lessons for many years and always kept his guitar at hand.
Varlyn retired at the age of fifty-five from Iowa State Extension and went on to do volunteer work in Ghana, Albania, Romania, China and Mecca, California. All of his volunteer work centered on youth and community development in rural, agricultural regions.
In Anamosa, he was an active volunteer and member of the Anamosa Community Foundation, the Grant Wood Art Festival and Rotary Club. He and Jane have spent the last eleven years wintering in Indio, California, and returning to Anamosa for the summer months. He was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Anamosa and St. John’s Lutheran Church in Palm Desert, California.
Varlyn is survived by his wife, Jane (Costello); children, David (K’Lynn Struthers), Christine (Dr. Michael Hansen) and Marcy Fink (Dr. Walter Blank); six grandchildren, Rowan and Carter Fink, eleven, Owen and Ella Hansen, nine and August, nine, and Louis Blank, seven; his sister Evonne Faria and Donita Switzer of San Jose; and a brother, Loel of Vinton.
Varlyn was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Lewain; and AFS International Programs son, Alfred Eliason.
Varlyn shared many life lessons with his family and the community. A recent conversation with him was a reflection on working with people and teams. He stated that so many times you have to work with what you have and most of the time, people exceed your expectations. It was this positive outlook on people that gave Varlyn a blessed life and left an enduring legacy to his surrounding communities. He will continue to be loved and missed.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 Monday morning, May 21, 2018, at the St. Paul Lutheran Church, Anamosa, with interment in the Riverside Cemetery. Rev. Rodney Blumel will officiate at the services. Friends may call from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. Sunday, May 20, 2018, at the Goettsch Funeral Home, Anamosa. As this is a celebration of Varlyn’s life, the family requests bright, cheerful attire.
Submitted by: Janet A. Brandt
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Last updated on Friday, 16-Apr-2021 16:55:58 MST