Obituary: Josephine M. (Chavez) Pickens Varner |

Obituary: Josephine M. (Chavez) Pickens Varner

Josephine Pickens Varner, 73, died peacefully surrounded by her family on March 28, 2012.

She had valiantly battled the debilitating disease Inclusive Myocitis for 12 years.

Born in San Francisco, CA, 1938, Jo lived most of her life in Marin Co., CA before her final residence in Carson City with her husband, Carrol Varner.

After her husband Ray Pickens died, Jo successfully ran Marin Gas from 1977 to 1995. Prior to this period she had worked for 16 years for the Marin Humane Society.

Jo had many interests and during the mid-70’s she was involved in the 99’ers Club. She was an avid tennis player as well as supporter of the Terra Linda Tennis Club. She also enjoyed hiking, music, the arts and travel. She was a pilot of the family plane & enjoyed taking friends on flights.

Her numerous charities and associations demonstrated her generosity and concern for those in need.

Even as her disease continued to limit her, Jo never stopped enjoying what she could with family and friends. She was a beloved woman, known for her kindness, wisdom and loyalty to all who knew her.

Both of Jo’s husbands: Ray Pickens and Carrol Varner, her son Steven, her parents: I. Paul and Carmen Chavez and younger sister, Helen, predeceased her. She is survived by her son and daughter, Mike and Cindy Pickens; her sister, Carmen (Chavez) Fraga; her grandsons, Steven and Zac Taverner; her step-children: Martha(Varner) Panela and John and Tim Varner; plus numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services and burial are through Autumn Funerals & Cremations, and will be held on April 11, at 11:30 a.m. at Calvary Chapel in Carson City, NV.

Memorial contributions can be made to the John Hopkins Myocitis Foundation, Baltimore, MD.

Please visit Autumn Funerals & Cremations web site to sign on line memorial book at