Varden Dyer was born February 22, 1936, in Baltimore, Maryland, to Edith and Varden Dyer, Sr. He attended Saint Mary’s High School, where he triple-lettered in wrestling, basketball and lacrosse. He further strengthened his athletic abilities at Severn Prep, preparing him to play lacrosse when he entered the University of Virginia in 1954.
Varden (then called Joe) was named lacrosse team captain in his third year at UVA, and led his team in total points. Also in 1957, he receive an All-American Honorable Mention.
In his final year, Varden led his team to another winning season. One of his favorite memories was scoring the winning goal against arch-rival Navy, 15-14. This led to his selection to the South All Stars, playing in the North-South Intercollege Lacrosse Game. His team won a record 26-6 victory. Varden still maintains UVA lacrosse records in assists and points. He was ultimately inducted into the UVA Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
In addition to varsity lacrosse, Varden was in UVA’s ROTC program through which he was commissioned into air defense artillery upon graduation. He completed the Basic Officers Course, Short Range Air Defense School, Airborne School, and Ranger School. He served three years active duty on jump status with the 3rd Automatic Weapons Battalion, 62nd Air Defense Artillery, under 5th Army at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, until his discharge as a first Lieutenant in 1961. His awards included the Army Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Army Parachutist Badge, and Ranger Tab.
Varden then joined and move up in management at Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone of Virginia, which merged with Bell Atlantic (Ma Bell, boomers), which became Verizon.
After retiring from Verizon, in 1986, he accepted the position of Executive Director of the Middle Atlantic Section of the Professional Golf Association of America, truly a dream job for him. He proudly held the position for 10 years.
Even in retirement, the one constant in Varden’s life was his love of sports. In addition to being a fan of all sports with an encyclopedic knowledge of sports statistics, he went on to play in local amateur golf tournaments. His home’s tabletops were covered with trophies, and every room had a very small black and white tv—a favorite golf prize at the time. He did not bother with a color tv until his family gave him one in the late 1980s.
Varden shared his golf knowledge as a golf instructor almost until the end. He specialized in the elder golfer adapting his/her game to the changes brought on by age. However, he was recognized for having an almost supernatural insight into anyone’s game, and golfers of all ages turned to him constantly for help. He was truly “the golf whisperer.”
Varden was a very active parishioner at Saint Mark Catholic Church, Vienna, Virginia. He visited at least once a day. If he couldn’t get to Saint Mark’s, he would stop by the closest church. He was well-known throughout the Arlington Diocese.
Varden is survived by three of his four children and their families: Leigh (daughter) and LTC Allen Haines (Ret) and their children Allen, Jr., and Michael; Stephanie (daughter) and Darius Brown and their children Bailey and Griffin; and Doug (son) and Lynn Dyer and their son Kyle. He is also survived by his ex-wife Casey Tarr, who provided friendship and support to Varden and continues to provide love and support to his adult children and their families.
He is predeceased by his parents Edith and Varden Dyer, Sr.; his daughter Kyle Singh; and his ex-wife and mother of his four children Marcella O’Donnell Dyer.