Greenville, SC – Dr. Miles Herbert Varn III, 83, died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on June 18th, 2021.
He was born in Atlanta, Georgia to Dr. and Mrs. Miles H. Varn Jr. He graduated from Denmark High School, South Carolina in 1955, attended Emory at Oxford, Emory University and Newberry College. He graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry in 1961 and was inducted to The Richard Doggett Dean and Marguerite Taylor Dean Honorary Odontological Society for excellence in dentistry.
Dr. Varn’s early life was shaped by Scouting. He started as a Cub Scout and eventually was awarded the Eagle Scout Award and the Order of the Arrow. His travels around the US to attend the National Jamborees formed the foundation for a lifelong interest in outdoor exploration. As an adult he remained dedicated to scouting earning the Wood Badge for leadership and ultimately the Silver Beaver Award for Distinguished Service.
After active duty service in the US Army, Dr. Varn established dental practice in Greenville in 1964. He was an early adaptor of dental implants and for a time was one of only 2 dentists in SC who performed the surgery. He was awarded the Mastership Award by the Academy of General Dentistry, their highest honor for lifelong learning. Dr. Varn served in AGD leadership positions at the local level, the state level, and at the national level ultimately as Secretary of the AGD Executive Committee for many years and President of the AGD for a year. He practiced for 41 years before retiring in 2002.
Dr. Varn maintained his dedication to military service and served in the army reserves in numerous leadership roles including as a liaison officer for West Point Military Academy. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. As part of his service, he traveled to numerous military bases around the country for summer training. This was an outlet for his love of exploration and he always brought his family along for long trips (including cross country), camping along the way. He was a member of American Legion Post 214.
Pleasantburg Rotary Club was an important part of Dr. Varn’s life. He joined in 1964 and maintained 57 years of perfect attendance, practicing his love of sharing jokes, until his declining health ended his streak in 2021.
“Buddy”, as he was affectionately nicknamed early in life, was joyously partnered in life with Mattie Louise Prosser. They married in 1959 and spent 62 years together raising their six children. Herb & Mattie shared a devoted faith and were active members of John Knox Presbyterian Church. Herb sang in the choir, served as a deacon and an elder for many years. He combined his dental skills with his faith and wanderlust and, with his family, served two medical missionary trips. They spent a month in Mexico and 2 weeks in Haiti where Dr. Varn worked long days performing dental procedures for those who did not have access to care. He and Mattie later traveled to Guatemala as part of a Habitat for Humanity mission.
Herb is survived by his loving wife, Mattie P. Varn; daughter, Lisa B. Rockholt; grandchildren, Kathleen Bloom (Matt), Kelly Karagounis (Andrew) and Preston Rockholt; son, Dr. Miles Jeffery Varn; grandchildren, Miles, Catherine, Caroline, and Rory; son, Mark Herbert Varn; granddaughter, Elissia Greene (Austin); great-granddaughter, Rose Greene, April Varn Cope, and her husband, Kevin; and grandsons, Hunter and Wyatt Cope; daughter, Mary Elizabeth Bodzy and husband, Richard; grandchildren, Caitlin and Jackson Bodzy; son, Christopher Thomas Varn and wife, Britton; grandchildren, Riley, Gracie, Kira and Declan Varn; and sister, Alice Cinader (Steve)
A celebration of Herb’s life was held on July 5th at 4 pm at John Knox Presbyterian Church, 35 Shannon Drive in Greenville, SC.
The family would like to express their gratitude to Interim Home Health and Hospice Care and all their wonderful caregivers. Arrangements under the direction of Thomas McAfee Funeral Home, Downtown.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to John Knox Presbyterian Church."