Betty Jean Carney

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Betty Jean Carney, 90, of Cassville, passed away Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, at Mercy Hospital in Springfield. At her bedside were her niece Jane Reed Beckett and Harry Beckett, and her nephew Scott Carney. Her nieces and nephews, their children and grandchildren from Missouri, Arkansas, California, Nevada, the East Coast, Mexico, and England, along with family friends, were present with her in prayer.

Betty, descendent of Missouri's first settlers, was born in rural Cassville on April 2, 1923. Betty Jean, known as "BJ," was the last surviving sibling of her generation. She was pre-deceased by her brothers Richard Carney and Bill Carney, her sister Kathleen Carney Reed, and her two half-sisters, Margaret Merkel and Nadine Cherry.

BJ's beloved companion of many years, Maria, pre-deceased her in California.

Betty Jean was the daughter of William Addison Carney and Maud Brooks Carney. Her maternal grandparents were Margaret Roller Brooks and Professor Jonathan Brooks; her paternal grandparents were Henry Carney and Hannah Clark Carney.

BJ was a pioneer in her own right: she was a shopkeeper at Star City; served in the U.S. Marine Corps during WWII; and worked in the medical field as a radiologic technologist in California for many years.

She had a life-long affinity for nature and God's creatures, and was at her best with animals and small children. For her young nieces and nephews, "being with Aunt BJ" meant seeing the majesty of the Ozark hills, watching the stars and moon overhead, skipping stones across Flat Creek, gently observing wild animals, and learning to be responsible for creatures in our care. There was much laughter and healing tears.

Surviving nieces and nephews include Phyllis Merkel Speek, Peggy Cherry Guccione, Bill Cherry, Linda Reed Schermann, Jane Reed Beckett, Janelle Clark Shubert, Tammy Clark Valer, Taylor Clark, Sandra Carney Wadsworth and her husband, Roger, Susan R. Carney (Fleming) and her husband, Philip, Sharon Carney Witter, Craig Carney, Scott Carney, Jill Carney Strother, Jane Ann Gowen, Roman Carney, and Robin Carney.

BJ is survived by family friends and relatives: Karlene Carney, Fredalene Gowen, Judy Harvey, and Monte Wolf.

BJ requested a private scattering of ashes so she could simply become part of God's country, her beloved Ozarks: the hills, the woodland animals, the creeks, sunrise over the lake, raindrops glistening on a limestone outcrop, the pale dogwood blossoms of spring, and the bronzed oak leaves of fall.

For our Aunt BJ Carney, to paraphrase an inscription in St. Paul's Cathedral in London:

"Friend, if you seek her monument... look around you."