November 28, 2021



Host of ‘The Household with the Magic Window’ passes absent at 90

It was one of Varnum’s college buddies from Ames who recommended her to be the substitute host for “The Household with the Magic Window.”

AMES, Iowa — Betty Lou McVay Varnum, known for hosting “The Home with the Magic Window” present on WOI-Tv, has died at the age of 90, according to an obituary posted on Iowa Cremation

The obituary suggests Varnum passed away Wednesday night time soon after residing a “wonderful, vivid, courageous, loving and impactful daily life.” 

Varnum was born in a Chicago orphanage on May possibly 3, 1931. Her adoptive mom and dad Glen and Louise drove all the way from Platteville, Wisconsin in hopes of adopting a boy. Nevertheless, when Glen observed her huge brown eyes, the couple just had to carry her household. 

Varnum attended the College of Wisconsin in Madison wherever she obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and a insignificant in English literature. Right after graduating, she moved again to Platteville and grew to become a trainer. 

It was one particular of Varnum’s university buddies from Ames who suggested her to be the substitution host for “The Household with the Magic Window.”

Her mother and father, so happy of their daughter, mounted a Tv antenna in their yard “tall adequate to get the sign,” in accordance to the obituary. 

Varnum hosted the show from 1951 by way of 1994, starting to be the longest-working kid’s tv display in The united states. She satisfied her spouse James “Purple” Varnum on the set. 

With her partner voicing Gregory Lion and Dusty the Unicorn, Varnum and Red established the longest partnership in a starring role in Tv heritage. 

“It was, you know, pre-Fred Rogers, pre-Sesame Road when area broadcasting, genuinely, for children’s instructional tv, was the go-to supply,” explained Iowa Condition Historic Museum curator Leo Landis about the present. 

The museum has all kinds of memorabilia from the present, including outdated stuffed animals and the common set. 

The crucial to the show’s accomplishment? Landis reported it is really the way Varnum spoke to kids. 

“Betty Lou Varnum genuinely did achieve out to little ones as individuals,” Landis said. “And I believe that was the enchantment of her show and why she was so beloved by central Iowa audiences.” 

Aside from the children’s show, Varnum was also extremely included in human rights. She was most very pleased of her talk display “Dimension 5” wherever she introduced to light-weight the Native American movement, women’s equality and LGBT legal rights. 

She also spoke out on incapacity legal rights for Iowans. 

Varnum leaves driving her young children and various grandchildren. 

She will be laid to relaxation following to her spouse at the Ames Municipal Cemetery. Support specifics have but to be delivered.

Related: Des Moines indigenous Cloris Leachman, Oscar and Emmy winner, has died at 94

Linked: Goodbye ‘Arthur’: Legendary PBS Young ones present to stop soon after 25 yrs