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Norma J. Varian

Updated: Oct 1

Norma Joan Varian of Urbandale, Iowa, passed away Sunday, September 26, 2021. The Daughter of Paul and Edith Johnson, Norma was born December 21, 1935 in Atlantic, Iowa, where she grew up as one of seven children. After high school she attended Americana Beauty College in Des Moines. She went on to own and operate her own beauty shop in Urbandale for many years. After selling her salon, she continued being a hair stylist until retiring in 2015. Her customers often turned into life-long friends.


Norma was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother to her family. She loved animals and spoiled many dogs that were lucky to call her mom. She and Walt enjoyed traveling during retirement with Las Vegas as a favorite destination. Norma loved meeting her many friends for coffee and had a passion for gardening, jewelry making, fashion, and crafts. She was an avid coin collector. She also holds the all-time record at Prairie Meadows for always walking out a winner.


Norma is survived by her husband, Walter Varian of Urbandale, IA; brothers Duane Johnson of Urbandale, IA and Dennis Johnson of Atlantic, IA; sister Barbara Tawzer in South Dakota; her children: Todd Maas of Johnston; Scott Maas (Jean) of Crosslake, MN; Grandchildren: Jamie Lambert (Kyle) of Jacksonville, FL; Jennifer Maas (Seth) of Okinawa, Japan; Ashley Sobotta (Matt) of Otsego, MN; Chandra Maas of Fort Collins, CO; Spencer Maas of Mound, MN; and 9 great-grandchildren: Isaiah and Viviana Lambert, Rayshelle, Tallulah and Takoda Miller-Maas Paniagua, Greysen Kurchinski-Maas, and Sophia, Brecken, and Emery Sobotta.


She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers William Johnson and Paul Johnson, and sister Jean Harless.


A visitation will be held on Thursday September 30th from 5 to 7pm at the Merle Hay Funeral Home.


A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.


Sympathy cards can be sent to the Merle Hay Funeral Home, 4400 Merle Hay Rd, Des Moines, Iowa 50310. Attn: Norma Varian family.