Hard working hands were laid to rest with the passing of Burt Bush Varga on Saturday evening, Sept. 29, 2012 at his home, surrounded by the love of his family. Burt was born on March 18, 1920 in Lincoln, Nebraska, 1 of 8 children born to Ludwig and Bessie May (Bush) Varga. After the passing of his mother when he was only 7 years old, he spent time in foster care as his father was unable to care for such a large family. He moved back home when his dad married Amelia Bauer Maughan in 1936.
Burt moved to Casco, Wisconsin in May of 1940 to work in the sugar beet fields with his stepsister Marge and her husband Dan. It was there that he met his lifelong sweetheart, Violet Wallace. When the fieldwork was done for the season and his family returned to Nebraska, Burt stayed behind to court the woman who would become his wife and the mother of his 11 children. WWII delayed their marriage when Burt was called into service on October 17, 1941 where he served in the Asiatic Pacific Theater of Operations. He was honorably discharged on November 28, 1945. On January 23, 1946 he and Violet were married.
Burt worked in the US Plywood in Algoma for a number of years. He found his true talent while working for Howard Immel Construction as a proud member of Carpenters Union Local 1146 until his retirement. One project that was especially satisfying to him was the disassembly of the buildings that would make up Heritage Hill State Park, their transfer by barge across the river, and their reassembly. When he revisited the park a few years ago, he still remembered the layout of the buildings and looked especially for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Park brought back many memories which he was more than happy to share with us.
Burt was a hardworking, loyal and tremendously dedicated family man. He loved sharing his days on the sunporch with his sweetheart, watching the birds and looking over the yard he loved, always checking the wind direction and speed by the way his flag was blowing. His eyes lit up with the arrival of family, especially the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Some of the grandchildren would sing some of his special songs for him, his favorite being Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain. With a little urging, Burt would sing along and at times contribute his own songs, which brought laughter to his family and a huge grin from Burt.
Burt was very proud of the house he purchased in 1963. Lots of hard work and love went into the repair and remodeling that made it into the home where many special family gatherings took place. It was at some of these occasions where Burt could be persuaded to play his harmonica for the family. He would sing and flash that big grin. Burt's woodworking skills can be found throughout the house, most notably the very large cedar chest he made for Violet. He always told Violet she had too many trinkets, but as her family continued buying them for her anyway, he kept building her more shelves to accommodate them. He was always about what Violet wanted. His carpentry skills were well known in the area and after retirement he built many decks including one for Kathy and Betty.
Burt loved his pet dove Susie. Al unexpectedly found the dove in his yard and brought it to show Burt. He fell in love with her and had a special bond with her for the past 8 years Through the years 2:00 P.M. was Violet's tea time, and Burt made sure she had her tea and cookie on time after she was unable to fix it herself. For Burt, it was a glass of wine at 4:00 P.M. If one of the girls were there, he really liked it if they joined him in a drink.
Burt enjoyed his trips to Lincoln, Nebraska to visit family. You could often get him going with the story about following "the big bus" in the middle of the night as he took his turn driving Bob's convertible. He also enjoyed his visits to Tennessee and Kentucky and was in awe of Granddad's Bluff in La Crosse. In most recent months his enjoyment was spending time on his sunporch, visiting with family, especially the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, visiting his sister-in-law Leona at the nursing home, and singing along with her on days there was entertainment. He really enjoyed the scenic rides he took with Al that gave him something to think about and talk about long after.
Burt always carried his rosary in his shirt pocket. Since the passing of his sweetheart in January, Burt added her rosary to his own and carried them together in his pocket, close to his heart.
Burt is survived by his 11 children: Mary Bauer, Murfreesboro, TN, Linda (Bob) Adlebush, Howard; Jean (Wayne) Buell, Suamico; Dave (Nancy) Varga, Howard; Steve Varga, Algoma; Al Varga, Two Rivers; Harold Varga, Algoma; Walt Varga, Algoma; Gary (Louise) Varga, Neenah; Kathy (Dan) Nessinger, Algoma and Betty (Mark) Reimer, Algoma; grandchildren: Kevin, Tina, Joe, Dan, Jaime, Stephanie, Barb, Jim, Jason, Shelly, Kim, Abby, Cassie, Carey, Brian, Josh, Joe, Ben, Wes, Jesse, Stephanie, Angie, Shannon, Sierra, Autum, Karli and Maddie: many very special great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; stepsisters Marge Burt and Geraldine Campbell, step brothers Ray Maughan and Richard (Ruth) Maughan; sisters-in-law Gladys Jacquart, Alma Wallace and Leona Kinjerski; brothers-in-law Ray Wallace and Pete Testen; also survived by many loving and caring nieces and nephews.
Burt was preceded in death by his sweetheart of 66 years, Violet, January 8, 2012; his parents, Ludwig and Bessie Varga, his stepmother Amelia Varga, sisters Inez, Agnes, Betty and Bessie, brothers Elmer, Walt and Robert, granddaughter Stacey and his great grandson, Zander on February 3, 2012.
Friends and family may gather at the SCHINDERLE FUNERAL HOME, Algoma from 4 - 8 p.m. Wednesday October 3, 2012 and after 10 A.M. Thursday at St. Mary Catholic Church, Algoma, until the Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. with Rev. William Swichtenberg officiating with full military rites at the church. Entombment at the Shrine of the Good Shepherd Mausoleum.
The family would like to thank Southern Care Hospice for providing support and for being with us from the time we brought dad home from the hospital on Thursday afternoon until his passing on Saturday evening. Thank you for guiding us in dad's final hours. A thank you also to Melissa A. (Kewaunee County Human Services) for all her help in providing Dad with what he needed.
Moonlight Waltzwritten by Violet Varga
Remember the night we waltzed in the moonlight to the strains of an old favorite tune
Everyone seemed to fade from our sight There was only you and I and the moon
It spun silvery shadows around us And wrapped our hearts in its glow
We were alone in a world full of magic And the breeze seemed to sigh soft and low
And you whispered "I'll always remember this night when we're far apart"
Though the magic has all faded away
The memories are stamped in my heart
That night was so long, long ago dear
But soon I'll be with you and then
We'll recapture the magic my darling
As we waltz in the moonlight again