Norman Lee Varuska
April 29, 1937 December 11, 2021
Memorial services for Norman Lee Varuska, 84, Lawrence, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, December 18, 2021 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.
Born to James and Dora (Mollet) Varuska. Norman was the middle child with an older brother, Dale, and a younger sister, Charlotte. Norman was born and raised in Geddes, SD as a farm boy. He attended 8 years of country school before going to Geddes high school, where he graduated from in 1955.
In October of 1960 Norman was drafted into the United States Army. His basic training was in Fort Ord, CA, before training as a Medic in Fort Sam Houston, TX. Norman was then stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas. Many lifetime friends were made during those 2 years.
Norman graduated from The University of South Dakota Springfield, SD with a Bachelor of Science in Education, in May of 1973. He never taught school but he instructed others with many of the skills he knew.
December 27, 1960 Norman was united in marriage to Connie Rada, and they shared 60 + years together. They have four children: Bradley (Billie Dettmann) Varuska and children Riley Varuska and Jake Varuska; Toni (Mark) Stremel and children dau Kristen (Felix) Zacharias and their children Lucas Zacharias and Maggie Zacharias; and son Kellen Stremel (deceased); Teri Varuska; Jami Varuska and son Matthew Roe. Family was extremely important to Norman.
Baseball was a major part of his life; participating in City Baseball Programs. He played on the 1952 Manager Jack Scoot’s Geddes Junior Legion team and grabbed the Class “B” runner up honors in the South Dakota Junior Legion tournament in Pierre, SD. His father, Jim, got Norman and his brother Dale interested in baseball at a young age. Norman coached the Geddes teener ball team, played on the town team, and played baseball on the Army Team while stationed at Fort Riley; he was a lifetime fan of the game. After moving to Lawrence, he became an avid fan of KU sports. Norman always cheered on granddaughter Riley on the KU Women’s rowing team.
Throughout his life, Norman worked as a plumber, carpenter, electrician, cabinet builder, and concrete/foundation man, before eventually becoming the owner of his own construction business. In 1985 Norman and his family moved to Lawrence, KS where he continued his construction business before retiring a few years ago. He was always working on one project or other, and was always ready to help someone fix something or lend a tool. He is remembered for his constant smile and joking manner.
Many other family members: in-laws, Aunt Gladys, nieces and nephews, cousins and friends are left to mourn Norman and remember many good times together.
Preceding Norman in death were his parents, Jim and Dora Varuska, in-laws Joe Rada, Elfreida (Rada) and Otto Tronvold, brother Dale Varuska; sister and husband Charlotte and Bill Smith.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Children’s Mercy Hospital or the Ronald McDonald House.
2401 Gillham Road, Kansas City, Missouri 64108
Ronald McDonald House:
9502 Cherry Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64108
And may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.
Services will be live streamed through: www.warrenmcelwain.com\