Gary W. Varney

garyGary W. Varney (79), beloved father, grandfather, brother and uncle passed away on Aug. 7th after a brave battle with Alzheimer’s.

Gary was born on Chebeague Island to Evelyn (Blaisdell) Hamilton and Charlie Hamilton. Gary was later adopted by his stepfather Charles Varney who became his “Dad”.

Gary went to Greely High School in Cumberland and graduated his senior year from Yarmouth High School. Gary spent his childhood days on Chebeague and in North Yarmouth. He loved music very much and was quite taken with Elvis Presley and “old” country music. He was gifted a guitar by an uncle. He learned to play it and did a little concert for his classmates at North Yarmouth Memorial School. Music was always a huge part of his life, he wrote songs, hymns and lots of jokes. He could remember the words to everything, even to his last few days he would put on his earphones and sing every word.

Gary had many occupations. His first job was working at the Poultry Barns for the owner Sid Smith. Sid became a very good friend and mentor for Gary. Gary’s lifelong friend, Bruce Verrill spent many fun times, fishing, hunting and camping together. He was the best man at his wedding.

Gary started working for Skyline Stables in North Yarmouth while in high school. This is where he met the love of his life, Claudia Griffin of South Portland. Claudia boarded her horse at the stable. Together they created an amazing history. They were married in 1961, had four children and moved around to many places like a band of gypsies, the family lovingly recalls but, Chebeague Island was and always will be home.


Gary worked at Unum, at a machine shop and Pineland. He delivered milk for Oakhurst and fish for Harbor Fish. He owned Stone Pier Variety and Mug-Up on Chebeague. He was a lobsterman and the whole family would pick crabmeat in the winter. He had a painting and repair business on Chebeague for many years. In later years he was a maintenance worker at Winslow Park in Freeport and at Ocean View in Falmouth. Gary also was a volunteer fireman on Chebeague and served a term as a Cumberland Town Councilor.

Gary has a real love for animals and a gift for making people laugh. He loved to go to nursing homes, dressed in his Elvis suit and entertain the residents. He loved watching birds and would sit for hours watching them at the feeders.

He was a very loving, funny, larger than life character and will be missed beyond words. His family is at peace knowing he will suffer no more.

Gary was predeceased by his loving wife Claudia and his beautiful daughter Angela.

Surviving, is his son Chuck of Chebeague, his daughter Debbie and his son in law Miguel, Miguel and Gary shared lots of music together and developed a very deep friendship. His son Scott and wife Christina. His grandsons Jeremy, Tyler, James, Ashton, Zachary, Jacob and Noah. His granddaughter Addison. Sisters Norma and husband Benny, Linda and her husband Ronnie. Lots of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He was something of a legend that cannot be told in mere words.

Please come celebrate Gary’s life at Lindquist Funeral Home, One Mayberry Lane, Yarmouth on August 26th at 1PM. There will be a brief service and then lots of pictures and shared memories with refreshments and lots of music.

Let’s give Zippy the King a wonderful see ya later.

The family would also like to thank all the staff at Coastal Manor and Beacon Hospice. You are all true angels.

Online condolences may be shared with his family at

Ellsworth, Phil, Norma, Gary, Charlie, Evelyn, Alice, Ethel, Melba, Harry

Singing the Pilot Cracker Song

Gary, Norma, Kim and Kathy on the Nellie GIII