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Glynn Co. couple killed in train derailment

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 11:07 PM EDT
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GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - A trip of a lifetime turned into a tragedy for a St. Simons couple as they celebrated their 50th anniversary.

Don and Margie Varnadoe were on a cross country train trip for their 50th anniversary when they died when the train derailed in Montana. Upon hearing the news, many friends of the couple were overcome with grief.

“I just cried and I’ve been crying for a couple days. I’m better now. But it’s just such devastating news to lose both of them,” said Margot Howard.

Don was an active real estate agent and Margie was a teacher and administrator for Glynn County Schools. St. Simon Community members say the couple were fixtures in the community.

“They were always about other people. You almost take them for granted that they’re a part of your community and to find them gone is just tragic,” said St. Simons realtor Roland Daniel.

The couple was very active in their church and were known for their sweet and generous nature.

“They were generous sweet spirited, full of life, always wanting to do things,” said Pastor Tom Jones, St. Simons United Methodist Church.

This trip was a dream come true for the couple.

Jones has been comforting the community in this time of grief.

“We’re trying our best to communicate message of comfort because that’s what the Varnadoes would want,” said Pastor Jones.

While the Varnadoes are gone, community members say their legacy will live on. The couple left behind a son, daughter-in-law and teenage grandson.

There will be a celebration of life for the Varnadoes at St. Simons United Methodist Church Saturday morning at 11.

Church leaders say the public is welcome to attend.

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