Sheila G. Varnum

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Sheila G. Varnum

May 11, 1940 - December 19, 2018

Holden Sheila G. Varnum, 78, died December 19, 2018, at home in Holden, after a five year battle with ovarian cancer. She was born May 11, 1940, in Oswesrty, Shropshire, England, the daughter of Grace W. Beddow.
At the age of six, she, her mother and two year old brother, Gailen, came to America, settling in Blue Hill. After a period of hard times, her mother met and married Lester Pettengill. Sheila and Gailen became a part of a blended Pettengill family to which a brother, Rodney, was born to that marriage.
Sheila was educated in the Blue Hill system and graduated from George Stevens Academy. She also completed a course of study at the Golden School of Beauty Culture in Portland.
She married Donald Varnum, July 5, 1959. They had two children, Randall and Lori. She was a "stay at home mother" with their children until they were school age. Then she was hired as a cook at Holden School, becoming the cook manager. She was known for baking mouth-watering yeast bread and delicious meals for the children and staff, retiring with 26 years of service.
She was well known as "the pie lady", making pies for anyone whom she thought needed an unsolicited gift. She made prize winning pies for the Blue Hill Fair and the local churches. She always made a pie for desert when she and Don had friends for dinner.
She became a naturalized citizen May 10, 1965. She was thrilled to be able to vote and never missed an opportunity to do so. She had an amazing ability to recall names of people, places, and events that happened, even years ago relating to her early years in England. Rarely did she miss sending a birthday, anniversary or get well card to a friend.
She is survived by her husband, Donald; daughter, Lori Parenteau and her husband, Richard; grandchildren, Amanda and Alexander; daughter-in-law, Lauri; granddaughter, Victoria and her husband, Dan Lerback; great-grandaughter, Ankia; brother-in-law, Royce and his wife, Margery, and son, Cody and his wife, Melissa; brother, Rodney Pettengill and his wife, Rania, son, Aaron, and his wife, Jenny; members of her blended family, Betty Dill and Joan Pettengill; aunts, Gwen Suckley, Phyll Beddow; many cousins and their families in England, many friends including, Drucy, Elaine, Sally, Olive, Virginia; and a long list of others whose lives she has touched.
She was predeceased by her mother; son, Randall; stepfather, Lester; brother, Gailen; members of her blended family and many relatives in England.
The family extends heartfelt gratitude to the Community Health Care and Counseling Service Hospice (CHCS) for the wonderful care that Sheila was given under trying circumstances. They tended to both her medical and spiritual needs along with those of the family. They were a blessing.
Graveside services will be conducted at Rural Cemetery in Sedgwick, ME, on May 11, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. with a reception to follow at the South Blue Hill Town Hall.
Those who wish to remember Sheila in a special way may make gifts in her memory to CHCS HOSPICE, 42 Cedar Street, P.O. Box 425, Bangor, ME 04402-0425 or to the Salvation Army, 65 South Park Street, P.O. Box 1101, Bangor, ME 04401. Condolences to the family may be expressed at
Published on December 28, 2018
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19 posts

Candace Healy
Jan 08, 2019
Don, I know your heart is broken. My first thought when I read this sad news was that Sheila had such a beautiful smile. I am so very sorry for your profound loss.
Jim Wood
Jan 08, 2019
To my Dear Friend Don, the passing of ;your beloved wife Sheila has put sadness in my heart as it has in yours and all who loved her. I would like you to know that the love and dedication you had for each other as a couple and the love that you bestowed on so many others has been an inspiration to all. With a heavy heart I express my condolences to you and your family and friends. May God's blessing be upon you.
Mr and Mrs Donner,
Jan 06, 2019
Dear Don and Lori we are so sad for the loss of Shelia, we have wonderful memories of her with time she was with us in England and our visit too you and Sheila at your home, she was a loving caring and kind women, and I know will be so sadly miss by all,
Garrett DeBeck
Jan 05, 2019
Sheila and Don took care of me as one of their own while Randy, Lori , and I grew up together .... Very happy to know she is no longer in pain .... I hope Randy will give her a hug and kiss for me !!
Aaron & Jenni Pettengill
Jan 05, 2019
We will miss her. She was a precious lady. We always appreciated the little dresses she used to send to Olivia. ❤️
Jan 04, 2019
Don, some people come into our lives and leave. Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same. Both you and Shiela have done that. She was amazing and loving and will be missed.!
Ted Andrews
Jan 04, 2019
Awesome cook
Carol (Gray) Reynolds, my dad Lester
Jan 02, 2019
Don, Me and my family were so blessed to have known you and Sheila for many years. I know my mom Charlotte was in heaven waiting for her..So sorry for your loss and our thoughts and prayers are with all of you....
Barbara Moon Gardner
Jan 01, 2019
So sorry for your loss Don & Lori ,We we Best Off Friends growing up ,A lot off great times And Memories.
Barbara Moon Gardner
Jan 01, 2019
I"m so sorry for your loss Don & Lori ,Sheila was one off my best friends growing up .a lot off good times an memories for sure .
Carollee Starkey
Dec 31, 2018
I have many memories of Sheila.I will never forget her and her husband's kindness when I found myself without a place to live one summer. Condolences to the family.
Leonard & Barbara Black
Dec 31, 2018
Sheila you will be missed by many that have came into your life. We will miss your sweet smile and just you being you, the great lady we all loved. Thank you walking into our lives and making it a lot brighter. You are with God and you will not suffer any more. Rest in peace beautiful lady
Cousin Sheila , you called me kind ....................
Dec 31, 2018
But it was you who was kind . Extending your love and Kindness to all. We met in England first when my dear Husband Vic was still with us. He loved you to along with Amanda & Paula . Always in our heart and memories. Rest in peace with loved ones. Say Hi to all of them from us Xx
Paula Ballesteros
Dec 30, 2018
I remember Sheila and Don well growing up in Holden. My sincere condolences to Don and family. Sheila was a good friend of my mothers and is fondly remembered.
Andy Bryan
Dec 29, 2018
To Don and daughter Lori - It is with sadness when I learned of Sheila's passing. The Bryan family always enjoyed her enthusiasm for life. She will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with you two and your family.
Ruby L. Mitchell
Dec 29, 2018
To Don and Family:...How much I enjoyed Sheila. Our conversations, laughs, and just plain friendship. And yours as well. Your devotion was always present. May God Bless.
Stephanie Beals
Dec 29, 2018
Dear Don,Lori and families Sheila was a very special friend and we all will miss her so much. She's with Randy now
Jim Muth
Dec 29, 2018
Don and family, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I will cherish the conversations we have had over the years.
Patti Herrick
Dec 28, 2018
Dear Don, Lori & Family, I am so sorry to have lost my beautiful sister-in-law. I know she is happy with Randy now and no longer suffering. Sending love to you all.