In Memory of




Obituary for Dexter Lewis Varnell

Dexter Lewis Varnell, 80, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, September 2, 2021 in
Southaven, MS. He was born in Casper, WY in 1940 to the late Donald and Bernice Varnell.

He attended Midland High School for 10th and 11th grades, then graduated from New
Mexico Military Institute. He was a Ham Radio Operator. He received his Bachelor of Science in
Civil Engineering from Texas Tech and an MBA from Memphis State University. He was a
registered Engineer in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi. Dexter held a patent on a Pile
Driving Apparatus. After serving in the Active Duty Marines for six months and in the Marine
Reserves for six years, he was honorably discharged as a sergeant.

He started his private business in 1981, creating the first computerized and personalized
reports for Home Inspections. He inspected thousands of homes and buildings, and was an
expert witness and arbitrator in construction related disputes. He managed to find a way to save
countless old buildings on the brink of being condemned by helping them get up to code. He
was a proud member of the Engineering Club of Memphis, American Society of Home
Inspectors, and American Society of Civil Engineers.

Dexter leaves behind his dancing partner and special friend, Bettye Van Vulpen of MS;
his daughter, Nancy (Tim) Lewis of TN; former wife, Shirley Varnell of TN; his four grandchildren:
Mallory (Mario) Garcia, Brian (Danelle) Edwards, Ashley (Matt) Gigante, all of NC, and
Josephine Lewis of TN; his six great-grandchildren: Jonathan, Maverick, Cadence, Cesar,
Rosaleigh and Emmaline, all of NC; one brother Dick (Emilie) Varnell of TX. Special friends
include Bob & Joy Scoff and the late Wilson Roberts.

Dexter stood up for his principles, both personally and professionally. His physical health
and diet were very important to him. He regularly danced at the Southaven Senior Citizen's
Center and Hernando's Hideway. Dexter said that dancing was the most fun he had ever had!
He volunteered with Calvary Episcopal Church Street Mission and Constance Abbey in
Memphis. He was very active within his church and sang in the choir at Prince of Peace
Lutheran Church in Southaven.

Spending time with his daughter, his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren was a
great joy for Dexter. He would get together with them every chance he had.
A small, private memorial will be planned at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials
may be sent to: Calvary Episcopal Church and Constance Abbey both of Memphis, or Prince of
Peace Lutheran Church in Southaven