Alfred Al Mitchell Varnes Jr. JD '67

Alfred “Al” Mitchell Varnes Jr. JD ’67


Alfred “Al” Mitchell Varnes Jr. JD ’67 passed away peacefully June 6, 2021. He was 82.

Al was born in Minot, North Dakota, on December 16, 1938, to Alfred and Lydja (née Schraft). The family settled in Portland and Al graduated from Cleveland High School, after which he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in Korea 1957–1959.

Al found his passion in law and serving the community as deputy sheriff in Multnomah County prior to earning his JD and his admission to the bar in 1967. Following two years as a prosecutor in the Portland City Attorney’s office, Al went into private practice as a defense attorney, giving voice to those who needed representation. He proudly served the people of Portland and was a member of the Oregon State Bar for 50 years.

An avid fisherman, Al shared many memories with family and friends on the Columbia and Sandy Rivers. He was recognized by many on the streets of Portland and in Portland institutions such as Nick’s Coney Island, Lutz’s Tavern, Caro Amico, and Otto’s. You could also find Al spending quiet moments watching a good movie with a cat curled up on his lap.

Al was preceded in death by his former wife and lifelong friend, Michele, and his brother Don. He is survived by his partner, Sue Sample; children Robb, Kimberly, and Erin; and grandchildren Bryant, Alessandra, and Luka.