Dorothy A. VarnHagen

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Dorothy (Dottie) VarnHagen was 74 years old at the time of her unexpected death on August 3, 2020, in Gaylord, Michigan. She was a long-time resident of Northern Michigan, having moved up here on May 1, 1980.

Dottie was born on January 27, 1946, in Union City, Tennessee. As a child, she was called “diddlydot” and enjoyed playing outside and being a tomboy.

Her family moved up to Northville, Michigan, in 1959. Ten years later, she met the love of her life, her Hero, Philip VarnHagen, the day they landed on the moon, at a pool party. Then later that evening, he approached her and asked, “Do you want to dance, Charlie Brown?” They married February 14, 1970 and enjoyed 42 years of marriage until his death in 2012.

They had three daughters together, and Dottie was very proud of being a devoted housewife and mother, and later a doting grandmother.

Dottie had many interests in life; she was an avid reader, loved rock hounding, flowers, and playing canasta. What was most important was her faith and loyalty to The Grand Creator. She spent many hours volunteering her time, sharing hope for the future with people she met. Recently she enjoyed writing letters at a time when things would be as God originally planned for the earth.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Philip; her dear brother, Carroll, in June of this year; and her parents.

She is survived by her best friend (sister), Marian Smith of Northville MI; her three daughters, Joni (Mike) VarnHagen-Sackrider, Keri (Robert) Berryhill, and Sara (Bryon) Sackrider; six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

There will be a memorial service for Dottie, via Zoom, on August 16, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. with Daryl Kunde officiating. For more information, contact Mike at

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Jehovah’s Witnesses Wordwide Work fund.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Nelson Funeral Home and Cremation Service Inc., 135 N. Center, Gaylord., Mi. 49735

4 comments on “Dorothy A. VarnHagen”

  1. Jennifer Leitelt

    My mom and I are so, so sorry for your loss. My mom and dad shared the same anniversary (2/14/1970) and enjoyed celebrating with them. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. Virginia Stutesman

    Dottie was such a sweet spiritual sister. She devoted many hours doing the work Jesus commanded his followers to do. My sympathy goes out to her daughters and grandchildren at their loss, but I know they have the same hope of seeing her again after resurrection and living forever on a Paradise earth in the near future.

  3. Denise (Rose) Neu

    I remember Dottie (and her girls) when I lived in Gaylord 20 years ago. She was a giving person and hard worker. Very devoted servant of God. Condolences to her family.

  4. I am so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. We worked together at APS for several years. She was a beautiful, gentle woman who loved by all of us. May she now be in paradise with our Lord.

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