Jane Bishop Varda ’69

Jane Bishop Varda '69Jane Bishop Varda ’69 figured on one medical career in the family when she married Darryl Varda ’68, who went on to a medical degree from the University of Iowa and became a highly-regarded neurologist.

But two careers? Jane held the title of secretary/nurse for 21 years in a local elementary school in the Grand Rapids, Mich., area, where she and Darryl live.

“The nurse part was strictly unofficial,” Jane laughs. “When I took the job as secretary, I was sort of thrown into the nurse role. I looked after all the students’ sniffles and minor boo-boos. I only called Darryl three or four times with a question.”

The Vardas met at Cornell. Darryl lettered in football, basketball, and belonged to Gamma Tau Pi. Jane was a Phi Omega, busy in student government, Kippers, and seemingly all over the Hilltop—until students learned Jean, her identical twin sister, was a classmate.

The Vardas, like other alums from the 1960s, are shifting into another phase of their lives: Retirement.

Jane, who took the elementary school position after their third child entered high school, pulled the plug three years ago. Darryl, in private practice for more than 30 years, is affiliated with St. Mary’s Hospital, scaled his schedule to four-day work weeks, trains future physicians at Michigan State University, and says he is a year from retirement.

Travel looms big for them, with a trip to New Zealand high on the list. Their three children are in Denver, Seattle, and Bozeman, Mont., where there are two grandchildren in each city to spoil.

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