Class A Boys Nordic state champion Roy Varney died Tuesday from injuries suffered in a farm accident. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file photo

TURNER — Roy Varney, one of the state’s top Nordic skiers, died Tuesday from injuries he suffered Monday while operating a piece of farm equipment that fell into a liquid manure pit at Nezinscot Farm.

“It’s with a heavy heart that we must announce that Gloria and Gregg Varney lost their son Roy this morning,” the farm’s Facebook page posted Tuesday afternoon.

“We ask that you be respectful of the family and space and give them time. Roy lived his life to the fullest both at the farm, in skiing and in school. Send prayers and share with all who he has touched,” the post said.

Family members, who otherwise declined to comment, said Varney’s parents were at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston on Tuesday morning with their son.

John Nutting of Leeds said Varney had always been “an enthusiast for every single thing he did,” a popular student who recently graduated from Leavitt Area High School in Turner.

Nutting said everyone in the community was “just hoping and praying” for Varney.


Varney, 19, was the Class A Boys Nordic Classical State Champion for the second time this year and added the Pursuit Championship. He was also named Varsity Maine Boys Skier of the Year by the Portland Press Herald.

Classmate Tessa Wadsworth said that she grew up with Varney and was classmates with him from elementary school all the way through Leavitt Area High School, where they both graduated.

She said Varney had a lot to be remembered for, whether it was “mornings with him in AP government, asking me how I was doing and bringing in delicious baked goods to share with all,” his love for Kombucha, “his famous ‘virginity rocks’ t-shirt,” or his achievements as a Nordic skier.

“Roy Varney truly lived life to the fullest,” Wadsworth said. “He never wasted a moment. He always had energy and never let anyone put him down. He walked his own path his own way and would want us all to do the same.”

The farm is owned by Gregg and Gloria Varney. It began as the first organic dairy in the state, and has expanded to include a gourmet food shop, cafe and bakery, fromagerie, charcuterie and fiber studio, according to the farm’s website.

On Tuesday, the farm store remained open, but people working at the farm were visibly upset.

Turner Rescue Chief Lisa Bennett declined at the time to name the victim in the farm accident, but said he was operating a skid-steer loader at the 284 Turner Center Road farm when the machine fell into the pit.

Nutting, a longtime farmer, said that farming is “a very dangerous occupation.”

He said chances are that Varney had done the job many times before something went wrong Monday.

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