Matushka Mary Varian

Matushka Mary Varian, 91, widow of the late Protodeacon Peter Varian, fell asleep in the Lord at the Camelia Rose Convalescent Center here on Thursday, January 28, 2010.

She was born Mary Leschisin in 1918, the eldest of three daughters and a son, to John and Susan Leschisin in Columbia Heights, MN. After graduation from Columbia Heights High School, she took business courses and began working as a secretary. In 1942, she married Peter Varian of Minneapolis, MN, with whom she had two daughters and a son.

Throughout her life, she was busy not only as a successful homemaker for her family but also in other areas. When her children were in school, she was active in PTA. When they got older, she returned to work as a secretary. She worked for many years for the Camp Fire Girls. Her last place of employment was the Northeast Neighborhood House in Minneapolis.

After her retirement, she became increasingly active in activities at Saint Mary Cathedral, Minneapolis. She served on the cathedral’s Mission Project Committee, which offered support to Orthodox missions around the country, and was the first chairperson of the cathedral’s Accessibility Committee, which spearheaded the installation an elevator. She served as president of the Women’s Club and was a long-time member of Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America. She arranged several bus trips for the cathedral’s senior citizens and helped in the church office, the kitchen, and anywhere else she was needed. Matushka Mary and Protodeacon Peter often worked together on Church-related activities, and frequently attended All-American Councils and Midwest Diocesen events.

Matushka Mary is survived by three children, Sister Pearl [widow of the late Very Rev. David Homiak] of Holy Assumption Monastery, Calistoga, CA; Jane [Robert] Smith, Blaine, MN and Fort Myers, FL; and James, also of Blaine. Other survivors include her sister, Ann Leschisin, New Brighton, MN, and her brother, John [Barbara] Leschisin, Andover, MN. She was preceded in death by another sister, Olga. Also surviving are eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, all of whom are Orthodox Christians, and several nieces and nephews and their children.

Visitation will be held at the Kozlak-Radulovich Funeral Home, Minneapolis, on Friday, February 5. The Parastas will be celebrated at 7:00 p.m. The Funeral Service will take place at Saint Mary Cathedral on Saturday, February 6, at 10:00 a.m. with interment at Saint Mary Cemetery. A memorial meal will follow at the cathedral hall.

May Matushka Mary’s memory be eternal!