Katharine  Varnes
Katharine Varnes

July 27, 1923 - October 21, 2017
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Katharine Lutz Varnes, 94, passed away peacefully at home on October 21, 2017. A retired United States Geological Survey (USGS) geologist, Katharine was born in Philadelphia, PA, and received her master’s degree in geology from Bryn Mawr College. She joined the USGS in 1948 in Washington, D.C., and moved to Lakewood, CO, in the early 1950s to work in the Branch of Petroleum Geology at the Denver Federal Center. She retired in 1995.

Katharine survived two husbands who were also USGS geologists: Laurence P. Buck and David J. Varnes. She is survived by her sister Lavinia Orpen; five children: Elizabeth Brende, Charles Buck, Carol Laurie, Laura TenBroeck and Richard Varnes; and two grandchildren, Harrison and Samuel Varnes.

Katharine came from a line of thoughtful women for whom living meaningful lives was important. She volunteered for a variety of organizations and causes, including senior housing. A woman of generosity and grace, Katharine instilled in her children a love of reading, music, art, and lifelong learning. She was a world traveler who remained active and engaged until the end.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, October 28, at 2 p.m. at Carmel Oaks Retirement Community, 1811 S. Harlan Cir., Lakewood, CO 80232.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Denver Hospice or the Jeffco Action Center.

Please share your condolences with her family by signing the guestbook below.




Celebration of Life
1811 S. Harlan Cir.
Lakewood, Colorado 80232
Saturday, October 28, 2017
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM