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RANTOUL — James “Jim” Varner, 85, of Rantoul passed in his sleep on Friday, April 30, 2021, at his home.

He was born July 11, 1935, in Rankin, a son of Fleming and Marion Varner. He married Nancy Joan Wisher on Sept. 5, 1959. She preceded him in death on July 15, 2011.

He is survived by three children, Lori (Larry) Hayes of Rantoul, Robin (Ed) Sanford of Rantoul and Steve Varner of Champaign; two brothers, Robert Varner of Loda and Bill Varner of Oklahoma City; nine grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother and a nephew.

Jim graduated from Buckley Loda High School in 1954. He served in the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne during the Korean Conflict. He was a member of Rantoul AMVETS and Loda American Legion.

Jim played EI Baseball in Paxton and Buckley. He also tried out for and made the team with the Chicago White Sox but was unable to make it up to Chicago to play. He was also involved in a local bowling league.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 12, at the Rantoul VFW.

Lux Memorial Chapel, Rantoul, is handling arrangements.

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