Brandon Louis Varnell


Brandon Louis Varnell, 38, devoted husband, father and nurse, went home to his Lord and Savior on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, in a Chattanooga hospital.

Brandon was a follower of Jesus Christ and attended Christway Church along with his family. He was a longtime resident of Cleveland and attended Charleston and Walker Valley high schools. He was salutatorian of the first graduating class of Walker Valley High School in 2002 and was an outstanding first baseman under Hall of Fame baseball coach, Mike Turner, earning a full scholarship for baseball to Virginia Intermont College.

Brandon soon realized his passion for the game of baseball had waned after high school, and he felt that he needed to follow a different path. Returning home to Cleveland, Brandon decided to pursue a medical career and attended Cleveland State Community College, where he graduated with honors. He then enrolled at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he earned his bachelor of science in nursing degree in 2009. He became a registered nurse and held many certifications, including a specialty certification in caring for critically ill patients in the acute care arena. Brandon worked 12 years in the medical ICU unit of Erlanger Hospital, where he received many accolades for his work, including being awarded the Patriot Award by the Department of Defense.

Brandon was a family man and had 15 years of marriage with two wonderful wives, Emily Orr Varnell who passed away in 2016 from breast cancer, and Rebekah Rombold (Bishop) Varnell, who lost the love of her life, fellow adventurer and world-traveling companion at Brandon’s passing. Brandon was also preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, the Rev. Wally and Betty Varnell; and his maternal grandfather, Jack Johnson, all of Cleveland.

Brandon is survived by his wife, Rebekah, and their blended family; daughters, Kaylie Roxanne Varnell and Kate Emerson Bishop; and sons, Jordon Louis Varnell and Chase Kellen Bishop; his parents, Don and Freda Varnell of Ooltewah; two brothers, Eric Varnell (Lauren) of East Ridge and Kyle Varnell (Kassy) of Cleveland; grandmother, Clemmie Freeman; three nephews, Elijah, Nehemiah and Noah Varnell; and four nieces, Addison, Abigail, Maryam and Lydia Varnell.

A Remembrance of Life service will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, at Jim Rush Funeral and Cremation Services, Wildwood Avenue Chapel, with Toby Brogdon and the Rev. David Tucker officiating.

The interment will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Flint Springs Cemetery with Tommy Leach, Tanner Hysinger, Jon Wilson, Cliff Howard, Ryan Bellomy and Joey Lemaitre serving as casket bearers.

The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday at the funeral home.

The family requests that memorials be made in Brandon’s honor to Christway Church in Ooltewah.



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