Mrs. Rayford Belle Varnado, went “Home” June 1, 2018. She was a strong, giving, warm woman who went out of her way to help others. Rae, as she was known to friends and family had a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor which endeared her to others. She always made friends wherever she went… from the grocery store to the doctor’s office.
Rae’s parents, Jerushia Priscilla Cotton Lane and Roy Edward Lane who were married in 1912 welcomed their second baby girl into the world on May 26, 1921 in Maidstone, Saskatchewan, Canada. At 21, Rae immigrated to the United States where she became a welder in the shipyards in Richmond, California. Her moniker was the “Canada Kid”. They used to say if you wanted a weld to hold on a ship, you’d better call the “Canada Kid. “As she said, “I walked the rails.”
Rae was extremely talented with an eye for detail. Cooking, knitting, and interior design were the things she liked to do most. She loved gourmet cooking, but we must admit, that came after we were grown because as kids if you didn’t want the dinner burned, you’d better watch it! But, as we reflect… food for the dinner parties that she and her best friend Kaye Patterson used to have, was never burned! Rae took gourmet cooking classes and put her instructors to shame! She loved the Food Network…her favorite chef was Barefoot Contessa. Everyone loved her knitting. She could see a sweater in the store, count the stitches, and go home and make the sweater, her abilities were stupendous. All of those who were blessed to have a piece that was created by her would receive compliments. Rae loved interior design, especially collecting antiques, and her touch can be seen in her daughters’ homes.
Rae married Obie Varnado in Seattle, Washington on June 11, 1947. They had four daughters. Sharon Varnado-Rhodes, who resides in Seattle, Washington, Karen Varnado who lives in Oakland, California, Linda Varnado-Elledge, who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband Duane Elledge and Carmen Varnado-Wixx who lives in Litchfield Park, Arizona with her husband Artis Wixx.
Rae was preceded in death by her three sisters and husband. She will be missed by her friends and loving family that includes four grandchildren Yael Allen, Danielle Donohue, McKenzie and Anwar Wixx and two great grandchildren, Stone and Steele Allen who were a joy to her in her later years.
She gave her love and support unconditionally. Her kindness and strength could never be measured. Rae was the type of person we should all strive to emulate.