Leland B. Varney, 89, passed away on May 12, 2020 at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center after a brief hospitalization. He was born on July 5, 1930 in Reardon, WA. He grew up in multiple areas to include Priest River, ID, Mountain Home, ID, and graduated from high school in Livingston, MT. He was tagged with the nickname "Mickey" by his mother when he was child. This nickname carried throughout adulthood. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from February 1951 - June 1952 spending 10 months of that time in the Korean War as a Sergeant.
He met his future wife Yvonne Paul in Billings, MT on a blind date in 1956 and married her 4 years later in Red Lodge, MT. They moved to Gillette, WY where Leland worked hauling crude oil. They relocated back to Billings after the job lost its contract. Leland went to work for Naranche and Konda Construction and the family soon relocated back to WY to work on the missile project. Three years later they were back in MT to work on road jobs throughout western MT. In 1967 a job change sent them to Kalispell, MT and then to Libby from 1967-1973 to work on the Libby Dam project. After their children were grown they moved to Anchorage, Alaska for 5 years to work on the oil pipeline. The next move was to Spokane, WA where they bought a home. For the next 6 years Lee rotated back and forth from Spokane to Fairbanks, Alaska continuing to work in the Alaska pipeline camps until his retirement in 1985. Lee began working again in the Spokane area hauling insulation for several years. They lived in Spokane for 23 years before moving to Troy, MT in 2003.
Lee was a man of many interests in life. Once he became interested in something, he would obtain books and research to self-teach. He became a scuba diver, beekeeper and avid gardener including hydroponic gardening. He and Yvonne enjoyed spending time at the area casinos, and gambling became a hobby for them.
He was a gentle, simple, easing going, kind man who rarely complained. His needs were small. He could make something out of nothing and always made do with what he had. He was easy and fun to be around. After the death of Yvonne, he became active in the church and was baptized last October.
Leland and Yvonne were marred for almost 60 years until her passing in June of 2019. Lee is survived by his daughter Laura Schrader (Max) Troy, MT; daughter MaRene Luckey of Richland, WA; niece Alicia Taylor, nephew Less Miller; grandchildren Rebecca Brelin (Stan), Gretchen Vaughn (Bill), Matthew Luckey, Joseph Schrader (Krista), Ryan Luckey and 8 great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on June 6, 2020 at 1:00pm at the Baptist Church in Troy MT with a potluck lunch to follow. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. Online condolences and memories may be made at www.schnackenbergfh.com.
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