The Obit For Charles Varnak

Charles Varnak

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 his home.

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 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 Charles was accepted as a candidate for the brotherhood in the Congregation of Holy Cross at St. Joseph Juniorate in Valatie New York.

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 Fund.