Matthew Wayne Varner

March 12, 2017

Matthew W. Varner, 61, died peacefully at home on Sunday, March 12, 2017, surrounded by family.

He was born April 24,1955, to the late Howard D. and Mae E. Varner. In 1973, Matt graduated from Brandywine High School in Wilmington, Delaware, where he met his soulmate, Jane, who he wooed with his southern accent and quick moves on the basketball court. He received a BS from the University of Delaware in 1977, and a MBA from the University of Georgia in 1978. After marrying in 1978, Matt and Jane moved to Charlotte and proudly called the city their home for nearly 40 years.

Matt worked for Willis Towers Watson for over 37 years, where he served as Senior Vice President and led the Carolinas Construction Practice. He cherished the relationships built with colleagues and clients alike, and was an active member of the CFMA Charlotte Chapter. Outside of work, “Poppy” adored spending time with his grandchildren, cheering on his favorite teams with his two sons, and beating any challengers in cornhole, whether at a tailgate or on the beach. He treasured his annual golf outings with best friends Jonathan and Rodney. Together, Matt and Jane loved taking shag dance lessons (but never quite learning), walking their beloved dogs Kirby and Winston, and spending relaxing weekends in Blowing Rock.

Matt is survived by his wife of 38 years, Jane, son Timothy and wife Lauren of Charlotte, North Carolina, son Christopher and wife Hannah of Raleigh, North Carolina, and grandchildren Gray and Reid. He is also survived by his brother, Allen Varner and wife Sheila, of Montgomery, Alabama.

A service will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at St. Gabriel Catholic Church, followed by a gathering of family and friends in the church Fellowship Hall.

Donations in Matt’s honor can be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Services, 1321 Berkeley Ave Charlotte NC 28204. Online condolences at Phone: 704-641-7606.


Share your memories & condolences


  • Don Appleby

    Jane, I was lucky to share a work trip to NYC with Matt in early 2015. He was insistent on staying at Hotel Elysee. When I arrived he was at the Monkey Bar beaming from ear to ear "You made it ! ", he exclaimed. We promptly bellied up, and the martini's were never more fresh. Hotel Elysee was so awesome I took my family back there later that year. As usual, Matt was spot on with the recommendation. I'm glad for the time that I got to know him. As Kevin McMahon always told me "Matt is one of the good guys ! " Nothing more true may have been uttered.

  • Jane Varner

    Thank you all for your lovely condolences.. I am deeply touched by them all. It's been nearly a month since Matt passed and there isn't a moment I haven't had a thought or a memory of Matt, who will always be the love of my life. I realize now that his spirit will be carried through in his sons and our grandchildren. I had an amazing life with him and I'm so glad you all had the opportunity to know him as well. Please feel free to call me or stop by if you are passing through.. I'd love to connect with all of you. My sincere gratitude and love,

  • Bob Norris

    Debbie and I just heard of Matt's passing. We are so sorry to hear this news. Jane ... you and your family are in out thoughts. Matt was a special guy in so many ways. He was a joy to hang with, to play basketball with on our team in 1973 ... he was the consummate teammate and team player. I will always remember his smile, his laugh. Debbie and I feel that we have something in common with you all since we each married our high school sweethearts. .Long live Brandywine High. Like you all we have been married for 38 years. Please accept our sympathies. Life is full of good memories. With time ... my hope is that you can celebrate Matt's spirit through these good memories. God Bless you all. with Love Bob & Debbie

  • Teresa Sanctis

    Dear Jane,
    So recently saddened to hear of the passing of your dear husband, Matt. May God give you comfort in this loss and the sure hope that Matt has found eternal rest and peace.
    Sending up prayers for you and your family. Love, Teresa Sanctis

  • Andrea Fraser

    Dear Jane and boys,
    I was in shock when I saw this! I had to read it many times. My heart is broken for you and your family. Sending my very deepest sympathy, thoughts, and prayers.

  • Griff Moody

    Jane, I am so sorry for your loss. Donna and I had such respect for Matt. As we were talking Donna remembered how close you two were and what a good example of a great marriage you had. Matt will be in my memories forever as a good friend and an important part of my business career. I am sure the success I enjoyed was in part due to his kindness when I was in Charlotte. I know he was a man of character and someone who enjoyed life. Even though I had not seen him much recently, I can assure you we will miss him. We will keep you and your family in our prayers and will be making a donation to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in his name.

    Griff and Donna Moody

  • Bethany Elliott

    On behalf of Allen's "work family" at the Alabama Forestry Commission, I'd like to offer our condolences in the loss of Mr. Varner. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Stanley Q. Allen

    I have always had the greatest respect and admiration for Matt. He was the consummate professional and someone that I always considered a trusted friend. My sincere condolences to the family and I pray that each of Matt's loved ones finds the necessary strength to enjoy each day forward. I know that is what Matt would want.

  • Dan Jackson

    Sorry to hear about the passing of your brother. Difficult days may lay ahead in dealing with the loss, but take solace in family and cherished memories of Matt. Cancer may be a life taker, however God is the ultimate life giver!

  • Jim Varner

    Sorry to hear of Matt passing away. Have many found memories of Matt growing up when they visited my Grandma and Grandpap Varner's home. My thoughts and prayers will be you.

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