Cover photo for Sally Varsa's Obituary
1941 Sally 2023

Sally Varsa

November 8, 1941 — January 28, 2023

Sally J. Varsa, 81, passed away peacefully with family present on Saturday, January 28, 2023, at Swedish Hospital in Englewood, Colorado.

Sally was born on November 8, 1941, to Dr. Salvatore A. and Hilda Jane (Steendahl) Dimiceli in Oak Park, Illinois.  She married Dr. Edward C. Varsa on August 28, 1965, in Bartlett, Illinois.

Sally is survived by her children Stephen (Maryann Ryan) Varsa of Nevada, Iowa, and Jessica (Eric) Johnson of Arvada, Colorado; grandchildren, Thomas, Sarah, Connery, and Emma; brother Salvatore Dimiceli of Jamestown, Tennessee; sister Louise (Andy) Mitran of Chicago, Illinois; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Edward; parents Salvatore and Jane; and brothers Michael Dimiceli and Jon Dimiceli.

Sally grew up on the family farm in Elgin, Illinois. She graduated from Elgin High School and received her Bachelor of Science from the School of Agriculture at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. While at SIU, she participated in synchronized swimming and exploring the local area on horseback. Being the School’s first female graduate student, Sally is fondly known at SIU as the “First Lady of Agriculture”. Sally was the librarian and special learning needs teacher at Giant City School, and later was an office assistant for Habinger law firm in Carbondale.

Sally was very active in her faith. She was a member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church where she was a member of the choir, planned music, participated in liturgical roles, was a teacher for the Parish School of Religion, a member of the Women’s Club, and shared her kindness with parishioners and the community.  After moving to Colorado in August 2022, Sally became a member of Spirit of Christ Catholic Community in Arvada Colorado, actively participating in the music ministry.

Sally grew up raising cattle, and loving, raising, and showing numerous horses. She was a member of the American Quarter Horse Association, Centerline South Dressage Club and a parent-sponsor of the Boskydell Pony Club. She was active in organizing and volunteering for local dressage horse shows and eventing for many years. Sally also loved her dogs, raising Doberman Pinchers and adopting many of her pets, and was a member of the Crab Orchard Kennel Club. Sally started the Indian Creek Warriors 4H club where she mentored numerous children. Sally’s many passions included photography, books, music, sewing, computers, playing the harp, cooking and sharing pies and other items with her many friends and sharing her hospitality.

A Memorial Mass will be held on Thursday, February 2nd at 11:00am at Spirit of Christ Catholic Church in Arvada, Colorado.

Further services will be held in Carbondale, IL. Funeral Mass will be at 10:30 AM on Tuesday, February 7, 2023, preceded by the Rosary at 9:30am, at the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Carbondale with Father Robert Flannery officiating. There will be a visitation from 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM, prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Carbondale , Food for the Poor , or the American Cancer Society .

Meredith Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements in Carbondale, IL. To leave a story or memory of Sally, visit .

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sally Varsa, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Mass

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Starts at 11:00am (Mountain (no DST) time)

Spirit of Christ Catholic Church (Arvada, Colorado)


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