Barbara J. “Barb” “B-MA” Varnes, 79, a lifelong resident of Billings who had worked at Mountain Bell as a switchboard operator and then First Interstate Bank, died Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012.
She was born Oct. 1, 1932, in Billings, a daughter of Pete and Elsie (Klein) Honstein. She married John P. Varnes on Feb. 13, 1954.
At First Interstate Bank, she was the administrative officer for correspondent banking and business development until her retirement. She was a past president of Landmarks and Bright-n-Beautiful Billings and held board positions for Northern Plains Resource Council and its affiliate, Beartooth Alliance.
She spent endless volunteer hours supporting Northern Plains and Beartooth Alliance’s successful efforts to clean up the McLaren Mine tailings and Soda Butte River drainage, preserving a key waterway to Yellowstone National Park.
Cooke City was her summer retirement home, and she had received care from Horizon Hospice Home.
Survivors include a son, Kelly of Billings; a daughter, Sara; two grandchildren, who gave her the nickname of “B-MA”; a brother, Harold Englin of Mesa, Ariz.; and a sister, Mary Brown of Billings.
At her request, no services were held. Cards of condolence may be sent to the family home. Arrangements were in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Donations may be sent in her memory to Northern Plains Resource Council, 220 S. 27th St., Suite A, Billings, MT 59101 or Horizon Hospice Home, c/o RiverStone Health Foundation, P.O. Box 1562, Billings, MT 59103.