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Celebrating the life of

Gordon S. Varnedoe

Passed away on April 24, 2021

Gordon S. Varnedoe

Gordon Saussy Varnedoe affectionately known as "Batman" died on April 24, 2021 after a short illness.  Gordon was the son of Lilla Train Varnedoe and Samuel Lamartine Varnedoe. He was born in Savannah Georgia on May 19, 1938. He attended Charles Ellis school, Woodberry Forest school in Virginia and graduated from the University of Georgia. Gordon married Catharine McIntire Eller and had three daughters Nell McIntire Varnedoe, Catharine Eller Varnedoe and Elise Bond Varnedoe. He and Catharine moved to California where they had their family and Gordon worked as a salesman for the Piper aircraft company in Oakland. He then became a sales representative for Obermeyer Ski Company in Aspen Colorado. 

Returning to Savannah after eighteen year, He became the Director of the Waterfront Association, and then went on to become a fundraiser for Armstrong State College, The Alzheimer's Association and the Savannah Jazz Association. In his retirement he was a teacher's aide for the Savannah Chatham county public school system.

Gordon was an avid skier and a rugby player for over forty years. While in California he was president of the rugby club called the Bay Area Touring side. Returning to Savannah he played Rugby with the Savannah Shamrocks and the Blind Pigs in Athens Georgia. He was also a master weightlifter winning several tournaments and medals in his age and weight divisions.

Gordon was instrumental in founding the Savannah Scottish games. He competed as an athlete and then later became an announcer. He had the honor of tossing the caber in front of Queen Elizabeth at the Braemar Scottish games in Scotland.

For years Gordon played General James Oglethorpe in the Georgia day parade, as well as visiting schools teaching children about the history of Savannah. He was also President of Gamma chapter of the Kappa Alpha fraternity and an officer of the province into his seventies. He was also President and longstanding member of the Saint Andrews Society, a member of the Coastal Scottish Heritage Society, the Society of the Cincinnati and the Society of Colonial Wars.

Gordon was a member of Christ Church Episcopal and the First African Baptist Church of East Savannah. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother J. Kirk Varnedoe and his daughters Catharine and Nell. He is survived by his wife Catharine and daughter Elise, his brother Samuel Lamartine Varnedoe Jr and his wife Donnelly Marks, his sister Comer Varnedoe Immel her husband the Reverend Otto Immel, sister-in-law Elyn Zimmerman and special brother Hayward Gignilliat as well as several nieces and nephews.

Memorials can be made in his honor to Christ Church Episcopal and First African Baptist Church of East Savannah or the charity of your choice.

Graveside Service will be 11:30 a.m., Thursday, April 29, 2021 in the Greenwich section of Bonaventure Cemetery.

SHARE YOUR CONDOLENCES

GUEST BOOK

Savannah will never be the same without this guy. Batman, we will miss you.

- Emily Saussy, Savannah, GA

Ah, so much love and so many condolences to your dear ones. The world will be a more boring place without you! Love

- Katherine and Jamie Keena, Savannah , GA

A candle has been lit!

Gordon was a special friend to me. We were prayer partners where Margee Grounds was minister. We would often see each other at community arts and Scottish events during the later years, always sharing a laugh and then a few serious minutes. He will be missed in our community. May happy memories lighten your grief.

- Carol Hodges, Savannah, Ga

From the days of SVA Savannah. A legend and hero to many. God rest his soul, in the hands of the father, at peace and in his eternal home. Time is for the weak, eternity for the mighty.

- OConnell, Alpharetta , Ga

The St Andrew’s Society of Savannah is saddened by the loss of one of our dearest members. We pray for family of our friend and Past President Gordon “Batman” Varnedoe. The Scottish Games will miss him as well. Always quick with a joke, story or humorous comment, the world will not be the same without his presence.

- St Andrew’s Society of Savannah , SAVANNAH, GA

I am shocked and saddened beyond belief to hear this seemingly immortal voice, spirit, and friend has been silenced by something so mundane as death. Ted Eldridge I am I am shocked and saddened beyond belief to hear this seemingly immortal voice, spirit, and friend has been silenced by something so mundane as death. Ted Eldridge

- Ted Eldridge, Savannah, GA

Gordon was a dear friend that worked with me in my classroom over the past few years. His sense of humor and kindness will be missed by the children and the staff at Charles Ellis Montessori Academy. Hugs to all that knew this incredible man!

- Kirsten Leske, Savannah, GA

Gordon will be greatly missed in the Scottish community and by his many friends. Gordon and my husband, James McDonald, started the Savannah Scottish Games which have grown immensely over the years under their direction. His legacy will live on. Hester McDonald

- McDonald, Savannah, Georgia

One of a kind. Always had a smile and his latest joke. Will miss him.

- Bill Lynes, Savannah, Ga

He was a great guy and a wonderful Savannah asset who will be sorely missed.

- Bill Stephens, Savannah , GA

Rest In Peace, Batman, and deepest sympathy to your family. You were unique, and much loved by so many!

- Archie Davis, Savannah , Grorgis

We will miss Batman. A true friend and believer. Our prayers are with Katharine and his family. One of my mother's favorite dancing partners.

- john b Demere, Savannah, GA

Shock at the news. Gordon was a true Gentleman and gentle giant. Our condolences to Catherine and family. He will not be forgotten Batman and his bat mobile will live on

- Argie and Jerry Grader, Savannah, Ga

Gordon was president of the Savannah Scottish Games when I got involved. Joe "studied" under Gordon's tutelage as MC for the Scottish Games. then went on to MC for over 20 more years. Gordon was a big influence. Gordon was a big man and he lived large. No one who met him would ever forget him. He had a knack for making anyone feel special. Anywhere, anytime, if Gordon should have been there and wasn't, he was missed. He will continue to be missed. Honey Ryan

- Joe and Honey Ryan, Savannah, GA

Sorry to hear about the loss of a REAL LEGEND

- Terry Densford, Jacksonville, Florida

Many years of laughter from this man! You never knew what he would say next. Vey caring and giving with a big heart. One day you see Batman, the next a kilt. Never a dull moment. ❤️ You will be missed Gordon.

- Tina, Auburndale , Florida

A candle has been lit!

We knew Gordon principally through the Savannah Scottish Games. He had a long and storied history with the Games and they will not be the same without him. His involvement with the Savannah community touched many lives. Rest in peace, you will be missed.

- Bob & Judy Williams, Savannah, GA

We heard about a kidnapping… and will always remember Gordon’s gregarious, generous nature, his kindness and his strength. Much love to the Varnedoe family.

- Tom, Tammy, Emily & Thomas, Savannah, GA

A candle has been lit!

My dear friend "Batman"--Gordon was as delightful and friendly a person I've ever met. What a wonderful friend and human being. It was an honor and pleasure to know him. A frequent guest on my radio show, Gordon was always a terrific interview and his humor was over-the-top. Dear Gordo--Go With God!

- Bill Edwards, Savannah, GA

Gordon was one of many who reached out as a friend when I first moved to Savannah in 1983. He always had kind words about my bagpipe playing. Rest In Peace Gordon.

- Dan Ailes, Rincon, Georgia

Gordon took me under his wing, like an adopted father, in my days at SVA Savannah. He was one of the first people I ever met who was mythic, bigger than this life. Godspeed, Gordon and my deepest condolences to your family.

- Jodi Hays, Nashville, TN

Many years of friendship are now fond memories. Thoughts of Gordon will always bring smiles to our faces.

- Dick and Susan Wallace, Savannah, GA

like so many others, I first met Gordon through Scottish games. We later learned of our Varnedoe conection-midway, Georgia. I will miss seeing and talking with Gordon at various games each year. RIP Gordon Neill

- Neill baker, Jacksonville, Florida

I will miss you Batman. The memories are great, the talks were fun, the fellowship was always epic. God Bless you and the entire family. I will see you again, Brother.

- Trey Cook, Birmingham , Alabama

Gordon left a legend that will not be forgotten. Sympathy to the Varnedoe family at this sad time.

- CAROLYN Louise EMERICK, SAVANNAH, GA

My deepest condolences to Gordon’s family; he was a true Savannah original and during all the years I lived there, whenever I would meet him and no matter my mood, I was always cheered by his presence. RIP Batman.

- Thomas Cannon, Leicester , North Carolina

You brought a great light to this world. Batman you will be missed!

- Karen Morgan, Cumberland , Maine

Every man dies but not every man lives...and Batman Lived! Thoughts and prayers to Catharine and family. Yours aye!

- David Graham, Charleston, SC

I am so sad to hear of Gordan's passing - he was an amazing person full of life and laughter. Every time I would see him the first thing out of his mouth would be did you hear about ... or have I ever told you about ... so many stories and jokes. I can't even remember when we meet but he has been a friend for as long as I can remember. Prayers go out to all his family and friends - He will be missed by so many.. RIP Bateman.....

- Cynthia Johnson, Savannah, GA

This community will never be the same again. Such a loss of a beautiful soul but-we know he’s okay now! He’s in the arms of the One who loves him most. My deepest sympathy to all and especially to Comer. Prayers for the repose of his soul and strength and comfort for all.

- Patti Neidlinger, Tybee Island, GA

We were so sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Varnedoe. He always had a smile and a kind word. May GOD bless and comfort the family at this time

- Mr. & Mrs. Leon Benton, Savannah, Georgia

We have known and loved Gordon for 30+ years. An amazing, brilliant Southern Gentleman. He truly was loved and respected by all.

- Terri and Mike Patillo, SAVANNAH, GA

A candle has been lit!

- Patillo Family, SAVANNAH, GA

"Batman" was a gigantic legend in the world of rugby from Georgia to the San Francisco Bay Area (a team called the B.A.T.S. whence his nickname)....always a great character we will miss him greatly!

- Dan Santoro, Pompano Beach, FL

My heart is saddened by so great a loss. My condolences go out to Catharine and the rest of the family. Savannah will never be the same without Gordon.

- Stephen S Gerard, Savannah, Georgia

So sorry to hear about the loss of this great man. We are a multi generational family of KAs at UGA and Batman had a positive impact on all of us. God Bless him and your family.

- Nicholson/Stringer Family, Atlanta, Georgia

Sorry to read this. Batman was a great KA and member of the Society of the Cincinnati. God bless.

- Derry Burns, Macon , GA

A candle has been lit!

Batman forever, in our hearts and in our memories. Thinking of you, Catharine, Elise, Comer and the whole family. You will always be my favorite cousin and I will miss your voicemails that immediately cheered me up when times were tough. You will remain an unforgettable force of nature and an undeniable presence for all who had the pleasure of meeting you and hearing your stories. I love you.

- Lawton M Costello, ATLANTA, GA

Gordon was a force in our little SVA Savannah school and he took us all in as if we were his own. Always ready with a joke, Gordon was a legend to us! Rest In Peace good friend.

- Kevin Box, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Great Guy, always had fun with him. Was at his 70th and 80th Birthday Parties.

- David Darcy, Savannah, GA

Dear Catharine & Family, So sorry to hear of Gordon’s passing. He was a great Man and will be truely missed. Savannah will never be the same as he was known and loved by so many. I have many wonderful memories of him; one being he “never forgot a name”. Our deepest sympathies

- Eleanor Shell & Jack Kiel, Savannah, GA

We were saddened to here the news and will miss this larger than life man. RIP Gordon (I've still got my batman pin!)

- Jim & Moira Vejar, Savannah, ga

A candle has been lit!

So very sorry to hear of Gordon's passing. We played Rugby together on the BATS in San Francisco for many years. He was unique character and a heck of a lot of fun to be around!

- Michael Purcell, CA - Davis, CA

Batman Mattman as you called me And your saying of “it’s your presence not the presents that count “. True words to live by My condolences to Cathryn and family, the global rugby community and the Savannah shamrocks Rest In Peace my friend Mattman

- Matt godek, Fairfax station , Va

Catharine & Elise and all the family - Please know I am heartbroken for your loss. I will be thinking of you and wishing you peace in the memories you share of Gordon. He truly had an impact on all he met and knew. My condolences to you!

- Ann Fuller, Shellman Bluff, Georgia

Savannah won't we the same without Gordon a big empty space will be left without his presence. When Gordon would come into Brighter Day the first thing he would do is tell at least a couple of jokes. He animated everyone around him. Gordon had a great heart. He was a gift to all of us. We will miss him so much !! Thank you Batman for all the years of knowing you.

- Peter and Janie Brodhead, Savannah, GA

To say he will be missed by many is an understatement .. His life was richer and more joyful because of you, Catherine . My sincere condolence.

- Cora Bett Thomas , Savannah , Ga

A true gentle giant thru and thru . One if a kind for sure. I was lucky to meet Gordon while we were BATS teammates in San Francisco way back in the 70’s and early 80’s Most of us lost touch with Gordon when he moved back to Savannah and we all moved on with our lives after sharing the rugby pitch together. From all the condolences it easy to see that Gordon continued to brighten lives as he did for all of his Bay Area Touring Side teammates back in the day . A special prayer will go out tonight for the “BATMAN”.

- Tom OGrady, Los Altos , Ca

I am so saddened Gordon has left us but know that his rugby teammates have been waiting for him in Heaven. The players can play on now that he has arrived. There was never a BATman like Gordon before or after and he lives on in our rugby legends.

- Thia Markson, Vallejo, CA

Elizabeth and I were so sad to hear the news, but I was heartened to have known this incredible man who welcomed me in to the McIntire and Hartridge families. We saw Gordon in January and he still had a twinkle in his eye. Our prayers go to Catharine and the rest of the family.

- Lawrence Phillips, Rye, New York

No matter where he was, who he met , he was fondly remembered by all. He gave life to every event he attended. Batman was a reckoning.

- Alice Gentry Douglas, Columbus, Georgia

Catharine and family, My husband Ted and I are so sorry about the loss of Gordon. What I will remember most about "Batman" is his giving spirit, love of life, his great jokes and his love for his family. He will be missed by all who knew him in Savannah. God Bless this man. RIP

- Laney Barroll Stark, Nashotah, Wi.

A candle has been lit!

My thoughts and prayers are with Catharine and your family during this sad time. Gordon will be missed by so many all over the country. Savannah has lost a treasure.

- Margery Hitch Barroll, Savannah, Ga.

Much love and sympathy to Catharine family and friends. Gordon was one of those larger than life characters who, if one had the good fortune to know him, enriched others beyond measure. His smile and joke telling, his wisdom and unique character will be remembered with such fondness.

- Catherine Renner, Savannah, GA

The definition of an original and a dedicated servant to our community. I will miss you my friend. Blessings, Prayers and Condolences to the family

- Joseph J Steffen, Savannah, GA

We knew him a long time and he never changed, thank goodness. Laughter and generosity were his companions and ours as well when we were together. We'll miss him and be thinking of you all in this sad time. But to have known him was a treat.

- Lee and Gordon Folger, Raleigh , NC

Savannah will never be the same without Gordon. He put life and laughter into his city, and he will be greatly missed.

- Patrick and Janice Shay, Savannah, GA

I am so sorry to hear about the death of Mr. Varnedoe. He was such a big supporter of the Hospitality Ministry at First African Baptist Church of East Savannah. He always had a smile and a kind word. We will truly miss him at FABES.

- Deborah Warren, Savannah, GA

You will be dearly missed, Gordon.

- Denise and Dan Flynn, Marietta, GA

Each occasion, a gathering to celebrate of mourn, when time was spent with Gordon, was a fine time. He had a way of letting people know that he valued them and making us smile. All Hail Gordon Varnedoe for his zest for living and love of his fellows.

- WILL MARKS, RALEIGH, NC

A candle has been lit!

“ Last call to a true Savannah-son”. Here’s to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold beer-and another one! Here’s to you and here’s to me, Friends May we always be! But, if by chance we disagree, Up yours! Here’s to me! Here’s to those who wish us well, Those who don’t can go to hell. If you see my tombstone, Please,don’t pass it by. Pour a drink on my grave, ‘Cause I’ll always be dry!

- Billy McIntosh, Savannah, Georgia

Dear Catharine, My deepest sympathy on the loss of your husband Gordon.

- margie sone, Savannah, GA

Each Sunday as I arrived (usually late) to church, I would about to take the seat in my customary pew, but not before Gordon would lean forward and reach out with a warm and enthusiastic handclasp. The pew behind me will now feature an aching void left by the gentleman who is no longer with us. Likewise, the annual masquerade gala won't be the same without sharing laughter with the impeccably dressed man in the black bat eared mask. Rest easy my friend.

- Jim Moher, Savannah, GA

Our hearts were saddened by the news of Gordon's passing. He was the highlight of everyone's day.. always upbeat with a joke that would make you laugh. He had a heart of gold for sure. May God grant Gordon eternal rest, peace and laughter.

- Kelly, Alex. Matthew & Andrew Hunt, Savannah, GA

It’s the “ Elvis Presley” Batman that I will miss.

- Tony Field, St. Simons Island , Ga

So sorry to hear of your loss. Gordon will always be remembered as Batman and General James Edward Oglethorpe to all of us in the Banking Industry. We always loved to see him come in to the bank and he always brought a smile to our face. With Sympathy to the Family, Jackie Fall

- Jackie Fall, Savannah, GA

I am ashamed to say that Jerry and I lost touch with Gordo once he and Catharine moved back to Savannah. His generous spirit, quick smile and personal warmth left a lasting place in all of our hearts. Always the gentleman, his signature move to make you think he was going to kiss your hand, but then would kiss his own hand - always brings a smile to my face. In my mind, it is that smile when we think of him that is his true legacy. Go on, I dare you! Think of "Batman" and not smile...see what I mean? So let's go find a pitch, a cold beer and see who they've got playing prop. What? They need somebody? Well get in there and kick some ass Gordo and I will be here cheering you on. My love goes out to you all. I will always hold his memory close. Guard it, protect it, because I was given the gift of his friendship and for that I will always be grateful.

- Kate Walter, Oakland, CA

Very sorry to hear of Gordon's passing Woodberry sent an email with his very nice OB and I remember him well from our class of "56. Hope the family is doing well. Elvia and I send our condolences.

- William A Wallace (Bill), Richmond, VA

I was a class mate of Gordan at Woodberry. He was a good friend there, and always positive in his attitude nd ever full of fun. I last saw him at our 40th reunion where, as always, he stole the show. He is dearly missed.

- Clifford M. Denny, Lexington, Kentucky

Gordon was one of the most unforgettable and he will be sorely missed. My family and I send our love to your family and hope that loving memories will give comfort.

- Barbara Varnedoe, Swannanoa , NC

Dear Lady Catherine and Family, we stand with you in grief, we are holding you tight

- Mallory and Julia Pearce , Tybee Island, GA, Georgia

My deepest sympathy to Catharine and the family at the passing of Gordon. I remember him so well from my days at Woodberry Forest School and later in Savannah over the years. He had a great sense of humor and always enjoyed telling me a joke and exchanging jokes with me. He will be greatly missed by so many. RIP Gordon.

- Pearce Hammond, Daniel Island, SC

I never met your brother but hope you Understand my heart. Your brother truly gave his entire life for his country to be a better place for all of us.

- Judith Fay Wilson, Jasper , Indiana

It is with deep sadness to hear of the passing of my friend and member Gordon Varnedoe. Our prayers goes out to his wife Mrs. Catherine and her family during this difficult time. Know if there is anything that we at First African Baptist Church of East Savannah can do for you, please don’t hesitate to call. God bless

- Thomas E. Williams, Savannah , Georgia

What a guy! Savannah will miss him. Rest In Peace Batman!

- Bob White, Greensboro , Ga

Mr. Varnedoe will be sorely missed by the staff and students of White Bluff Elementary School. “Batman” was a frequent visitor and good friend. So many students throughout Savannah will remember him fondly. His generosity of spirit was an inspiration to us all. Our prayers are with you all at this sad time.

- Susan Smith, Savannah, Ga

Gordon was a good friend and was truly a great person, He will be missed by all who knew him., Dan & Jane Pruitt

- Dan & Jane Pruitt, Savannah, GA.

Gordon had the gift of lifting people up with a smile, a joke or an "attaboy". We will miss him.

- Maureen F Eason, SAVANNAH, GA

A candle has been lit!

- Dean G Tonkin, Seattle, Washington

My deepest sympathy to Gordon's family.....

- Saussy, Charlotte, NC

I am so sorry about Gordon's passing. He was such a special outgoing person that once you spent anytime with him you would never forget him. He was certainly a man of great accomplishments. He was a blessing to so many !!! My prayers are with you, Georgi

- Georgianna Keller Valentino, Jacksonville , Fl

RIP Batman

- Dewey & Ellen Hooper, Savannah, Ga

What a wonderful man. Full of life and always with a smile on his face. I will miss him.

- Heys McMath III, Greenville, S.C.

I must have met Gordon barely a handful of times but he always loomed so large in my imagination. In Tybee, where he invented a new game of wall-ceiling-floor-pong to accommodate our terrible kid table tennis skills. The Batman, the commitment to the batman, and the energy and warmth that he exuded in everything. What an incredible man. Truly larger than life. My thoughts are with his whole family.

- Georgia Challis, London, UK

It has taken me weeks to realize there is nothing I can write that truly sums up Gordon’s impact and how he will be missed. Batman was such a positive, fun loving, kind person. My family and I will miss him.

- Erica Scales , Savannnah , GA

Services under the direction of:

Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
912-352-7200