Published in Albany
Times Union on November 21, 2010
VALATIE Brother Charles
Varnak, C.S.C., died peacefully this morning, November 19, 2010 at Barnwell
Nursing Home in Valatie. 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 on May 28, 1921 in Crucible, Pennsylvania,
the third of the five children of George and Pauline (Koperdak) Varnak.
The Varnaks were members of the Holy Rosary Parish in Republic, Pennsylvania
where they made their home.
Charles received his elementary education at Republic Grammar School and
his secondary education at Republic's High School.
He pursued his higher education at Pennsylvania's Waynesburg College from
which he received his bachelor of science degree on May 16, 1943. During
his senior year he was captain of the Waynesburg basketball team. In August
1955 he received the degree of master of arts from the University of Notre
Dame. During his undergraduate summers he worked in the coal mines near
Shortly after graduating from college he joined the United states Navy
and attained the rank of Lt. (j.g.). Assigned to P.T. Boats, he spent
the years 1943-1946 seeing action in the South Pacific, the Phillipines
After leaving the Navy he spent one summer playing minor league baseball
with the Olean Oilers of the Brooklyn System.
On March 21, 1947 Charles was accepted as a candidate for the brotherhood
in the Congregation of Holy Cross at St. Joseph Juniorate in Valatie New
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.
Brother Charles 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 spent 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 ground maintenance work.
A wake service for Brother Charles will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, November
22 in the Chapel of St. Joseph Center in Valatie. The Mass of Christian
Burial will be held in the same chapel at 11 a.m. on 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