Obituary: Dr. John Carney, 100, of Ludington.

August 10, 2022

Dr. John Carney

Obituary: Dr. John Carney, 100, of Ludington.

John Richard Carney MD died on Friday, August 5, 2022, of natural causes at the age of 100. He was the son of Professor Robert J. Carney and Frances Sweet (Gibson) Carney. He was born in Ann Arbor on August 18, 1921, and was a graduate of Ann Arbor High School in the class of 1945. During medical school on July 24, 1944, he married his classmate, Ruth Virginia Carr, daughter of Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Leland Walker Carr. Ruth and John graduated together and went through their lives together hand-in-hand. The Carneys interned at Los Angeles County General Hospital. After his two years in the Navy, on loan to the Veteran’s Administration, they continued their medical training at St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor.

The Carneys moved to Ludington, the city of their dreams, in August of 1949 and did a broad general practice until their retirement in 1991. Dr. John, as he was known, then helped start the James Street Clinic and worked there for three summers before his complete retirement.

After retiring, the Carneys spent their winters in upstate South Carolina where Dr. Ruth died of a stroke on February 2, 2000. Dr. John then married June Marie Strahan, widow of his long-time bridge partner James Strahan, on December 27, 2003. She provided love and companionship during the ensuing years. Surviving are son Judge John (Patricia) Carney Jr. of Ludington, daughter Judge Christine Ann Carney, of Ft. Collins, Colorado; son-in-law Mitchell Kendrick; granddaughter Margaret (Mike) Carney Fennema; grandson Dr. Joel (Amy) Carney of Port Tobacco, MD; and great-grandchildren Jacob Baily, Peyton and Mason Carney; stepchildren Peter (Karen), Timothy (Cay), and James (Jennifer) Strahan; and step-grandchildren Christina (Nick) Simone, Carna (Chris) Steimel, and Aaron (Rosemary), Seth (Jennifer), Zachary (Sandee),  Jacob (Jennifer), Adam, Ian, Jacob, Joseph, and Ruby and James Strahan.

Dr. John Carney

Preceding him in death were his wives Dr. Ruth Carr Carney and June Marie Strahan Carney; his parents; his brother Dr. Robert Gibson Carney; sister Frances Carney Gies; daughter Irene Francis Carney Kendrick; and stepson Robert Strahan.

Both Dr. Ruth and Dr. John were past chief-of-staff of the Paulina Stearns Hospital and Memorial Hospital as well as presidents of the Mason County Medical Society. Between them they delivered nearly 5,000 babies, most of them in Ludington. The Carneys worked closely with the other Ludington physicians, especially Floyd Boon, Leo Goulet, Roy Lintner, Austin Craymer, Rudy Castellani, Harry Clark, and Ken Hill. Dr. John had a special interest in cardiology, reading electrocardiograms at the local hospital for 35 years. He also started, planned, and developed the Memorial Hospital Coronary Care Unit, which became the second small hospital CCU in Michigan, and he instructed the hospital nurses in the principles or coronary care. He and other local physicians conducted the first county-wide polio clinic in Michigan in 1960, using the Sabin vaccine, which eliminated polio from this county forever.

Dr. John was vice-president of his medical class and was the class spokesman during the following years, conducting well-attended class reunions in Ann Arbor. He was a six-year governor of the Medical Center Alumni Society of the University of Michigan. He and Dr. Ruth were charter diplomates of the American Board of Family Practice. He was a long-time member of the Lincoln Hills Golf Club and three times senior club champion, and with R.J. Rathsack authored a book, “The History of the Lincoln Hills Golf Club.” He was one of the founders of the “Courts of Wrath” racquetball club and was an enthusiastic player in Ludington duplicate bridge clubs.

A special thank you goes out to his wonderful caregivers Rose Lessard, Gretchen Holmes, Lisa Wolven, Mary White, special helper Amelia Hobbs, and to Mark Boon for being such a special friend and helper over all these years.

Following cremation, there will be a private family celebration of his life. The Carneys have established a substantial fund for the advanced education of Mason County high school graduates. Contributions through the Community Foundation for Mason County would be welcomed to the “Drs. Ruth and John Carney and Irene Carney Kendrick Memorial Scholarship Fund” 119 S. Rath, Ludington, MI 49431.

Beacon Cremation & Funeral Service, Pere Marquette Chapel, is in charge of arrangements.

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