James (Jim) Garret VARNEY

James (Jim) Garret Varney

The Varney family is sad to announce that Jim Varney’s epic adventures came to an end on  May 20, 2017, at Trillium Hospice while the cherry blossoms were in full bloom outside his window.

Jim was born at New Rochelle, New York, on October 22, 1949 and spent much of his life on his homestead in Pleasant Valley, New York. He came to Canada in 1995 to live on Lasqueti Island as caregiver to his wonderful mother. He moved to Parksville in 2002.

Jim was an avid motorcycle racer and mechanic, a Volkswagen and Porsche specialist, a gifted worker in stained glass, wrought iron, wood, and building restoration. He worked on art and educational installations for the UN, The Metropolitan Museum, The New York Historical Society, The Cloisters, The New York Public Library, and Ellis Island.

He was also a fine artist specializing in mixed media, sculpture, assemblage, and collage. His exhibition record spans the years from 1973 to 2010. His masterwork, “The Mother Earth Crucifix” is a 3-D sculpture nine feet tall made of stained glass, wrought iron, wood, and lighting.

For four years he was the Chair of the Board of the Oceanside Community Arts Council and during this period, not one dissenting vote was cast by any board member. He was also proprietor of the infamous Toad Hotel.

Jim was a great spirit with a loving heart, a kind, compassionate, and generous Bodhisattva who left behind many friends and a large family. He was predeceased by his mother Nancy, father Cecil, and brother Art who was his best friend, and his ex-wife and forever friend Martha. He is survived by his older brother Edwin (Adele), his beloved stepdaughter Christie, his cousin Sharon (Michael), his son Pierre, two grandchildren and by his nieces – Leslie (Chris), Ocean, and Katie (Chris) – and by several great nieces and nephews.

Our family would like to thank and all the wonderful friends, particularly his special friend Sami, who came to spend time with Jim – as well as the fantastic staff at Trillium Hospice. Because of your love and kindness, Jim’s last days were filled joy, laughter, love, and magic. He was never alone in this final part of his adventure.

A celebration of Jim’s life will be held on

Saturday, July 1st from 12:30 to 4:30 pm

at his home in Parksville.


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