The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

March 3, 2013



TARBORO — Linwood "Smarty" Hilton Varnell, age 68, passed away surrounded by his family Sunday, March 3, 2013.  Born in Macclesfield on June 6, 1944, he was the son of the late Albert Leslie Varnell and Doretha Varnell Vainwright.  He was also preceded in death by two brothers, Paul Leslie Varnell and Mack Fleming Varnell.

Linwood was active in his community thru his 28 years of  volunteer work with West Edgecombe Fire Department.  After retirement of active fire fighting in 2000, he served on the Board of Directors until 2010.  After 31 years of service with Barcalounger, he began working for the NC Department of Transportation and remained there for 10 years until his retirement.

A true family man, he loved spending time with his family especially his four wonderful grandchildren. He spent family and friend gatherings cooking BBQ chicken and Brunswick stew.  He was an avid outdoorsman that loved to fish.

He leaves behind his wife of 48 years, Louise Watson Varnell; son, Mike Varnell and wife Ellen; daughter, Susie Pridgen and husband Steve; grandchildren, Carter Lynn Varnell, Micah Lee Varnell, Rebecca Susan Pridgen and Taylor Diane Pridgen; sisters, Doris Pittman of Fountain, Peggy Brake and husband Percy of Rocky Mount and Ellen Forehand and husband Cecil of Pinetops; brother, Robert Varnell and wife Mary Alice of Pinetops; sisters-in-law, Jean Varnell of Farmville and Katie Varnell of Rocky Mount. The family will receive friends and relatives from 1:30pm to 2:45pm Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at Wheeler and Woodlief Funeral Home.  A service to remember Linwood will be held at 3 p.m. after the visitation in the funeral home chapel with Dr. Harry Fowler officiating.  Burial will follow at Edgecombe Memorial Park in Tarboro.

Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to West Edgecombe Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 2793, Rocky Mount NC 27802.

Arrangements entrusted to Wheeler and Woodlief Funeral Home, 1130 N. Winstead Avenue, Rocky Mount NC 27804.  You may share memories and condolences with the family by visiting