Funeral Services: Friday, May 13, 2016
Friendship Missionary Baptist Church
Family Gathering: 326 Carroll Street
Life’s earthly journey for Ralph Russell Varnum began on Saturday, July 7, 1962. He was born in Commerce, Georgia to H. T. Varnum and Sue Hopkins Varnum. He departed this earthly journey on Friday, April 29, 2016.
Ralph received his early education from Thomasville Senior High School, graduating with the Class of 1981. He furthered his education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in 1984. He then joined the U. S. Army where he served for four years earning the rank of 1st Lieutenant. His service career included stations in Kansas, Germany, Indonesia and Mexico. Ralph was appointed an Army Congressional Appointment for North Carolina for U. S. Army. Following his term in the Army, Ralph taught English as a second language and he was fluent in seven different languages. Continuing his education in 1986, Ralph received a Master’s Degree from the University of Southern California and in 2008 he earned a Cambridge Scholar while receiving a TESL Diploma from London University, London England.
As a devout Christian, God allowed Ralph to return to the United States. Ralph resided in Long Beach, CA. where he was employed as a Director with EF Education First International Schools for Asia including Indonesia, Taiwan and Latin America. He embraced his community especially Hispanics, where he would advocate the importance of high quality customer service in which he would follow-up with letters to address their concerns. His favorite pastime was watching old movies such as Gun Smoke, The Rifleman, playing golf and listening to all kinds of music. His favorite artist was Barry White.
Ralph was preceded in death by one sister Lisa V. Gladney. He leaves a legacy of love to his parents H. T. and Sue Hopkins Varnum of Thomasville, NC; three children, PFC Alejandro R. Varnum Ortega of El Paso, TX, Randall Varnum Ortega and Jennifer Varnum Ortega both of Mexico City; one brother, Dennis T. Varnum (Sharifah) of Anaheim, CA; three sisters, Sharon A. Varnum and Jacquline Varnum both of Thomasville, NC and Delores A. Leach (Clinton) of Fayetteville, NC and a host of nieces, nephews aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.