John Taylor Varner, Junior - Glendale Mills Machine Shop Foreman 

Born November 14,1920 in Spartanburg County, John Taylor was the son of John Taylor Varner Sr. and Eugenie McCombs Varner. Born and reared in the Glendale Mill village, John went to work as a machinist in the machine shop at Glendale Mills in his late teens. He was serving as shop foreman at the time the mill was sold through merger to Indian Head Mills in 1957, continuing until the mill was closed in 1961.

After leaving Glendale he worked as a machinist at Beaumont Mills for 25+ years before retiring. Combined, he had worked as a machinist almost 50 years. John was quite versatile, a good all-round shop man. Though he served as foreman of the machine shop for a number of years, his primary job was that of making shafts and gears on the milling machine. In my opinion he was the “best” on making spiral gears. He did electrical, plumbing and carpentry work when needed. John had a wood work shop at his home and made some fine cedar chests and other nice pieces of furniture. Over the years, John helped numerous local residents with electrical, plumbing and pump problems, all at no charge.

John was twice married; first to Sara Quinn, the daughter of John H. and Hattie Byars Quinn of Woodruff, South Carolina. His mother having already died, they lived with John Taylor’s father. After his father’s death, they renovated and continued to live in the Varner family home which was located about half a mile from the mill on the Glendale-Clifton Road. (click Taylor Varner Senior) John and Sara were the parents of two children; their son, John Taylor III and their daughter, Linda Lou. Sara was a member of the Glendale Baptist Church where she had served as Church clerk/secretary, a Sunday School teacher, a WMU member and a Choir member for many years. She was the first President of the P.T.A at the Glendale Elementary School.

Sara died Friday, September 3, 1982 at the Mary Black Hospital following a long illness. She was 60 years of age. Her obituary appearing in the Spartanburg Herald and Journal on September 4, stated that she was a native of Woodruff and a lab technician for Milliken & Co. Her funeral was held in the Glendale Baptist Church. Interment took place in the Greenlawn Memorial Gardens in Spartanburg. S.C. Sara was survived by her husband, John and their two children; a son, John Taylor III of Sumter, South Carolina and daughter, Mrs. Linda Lou Purser of Spartanburg, S. C. A Brother, Rev. Clyde A. Quinn of Ruffin, South Carolina and two grandchildren.

John’s second marriage was to Ernestine Brown White, the daughter of Ernest and Bertha Genobles Brown. Ernestine was first married to the late John Earl White. She had retired after 54 years of textile work. She was a member of the Pacolet First Baptist Church., Pacolet, South Carolina. They lived in her home located on the Pacolet-Union highway just about a mile from the heart of Pacolet.

Born November 4, 1929, Ernestine died Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at her home. She was 78 years of age. Her obituary published June 19 in the Spartanburg Herald and Journal stated that she was survived by her husband, John T. Varner Jr., three daughters; Cathy White and Carole Morris, of Pacolet and Jean George of Inman. One step daughter, Linda Varner Pickel and one step son, John Taylor Varner III, both of Greenville, South Carolina. Three grandchildren, two step grandchildren and three step great grandchildren. Also surviving was one brother, Harold Brown of Inman and two sisters, Geraldine Spencer and Sherlon Wilkins of Pacolet. Funeral services were held in the First Baptist Church at Pacolet with interment following in the Pacolet Memorial Gardens.

John died December 19, 2009 at the White Oak Estates of Spartanburg where he had been living due to a long illness. John’s obituary which appeared in the Spartanburg Herald & Journal showed that he was survived by his two children; son, John Taylor III and his wife Pat Graham Varner; daughter, Linda Lou Varner Pickel and her husband William Pickel. Both couples of Greenville, S.C. Three step daughters; Cathy White and Carole W. Morris and husband Terry of Pacolet, S.C. and Jean W. George and husband Ronnie of Inman, S.C. five grandchildren and five great grandchildren. John was the first cousin of this writer but living close and growing up together with my four brothers and I, he felt more like a brother.

John Taylor III was first married to the late Eileen Thomas Varner and they were the parents of one daughter, Elizabeth Varner Broadwell. Linda Lou was first married to Jimmy Trammell and they were the parents of one son, Michael Trammell.

John had been a member of the Glendale Baptist Church for a number of years before marrying his second wife and moving to Pacolet at which time he joined the First Baptist Church, Pacolet, S.C. His funeral was held at the Floyd’s Greenlawn Chapel with interment following in the Greenlawn Memorial Gardens.

(Story furnished by Clarence Crocker.)

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