Remembering Wanda E. Carney, 1930-2020

Family and friends are remembering Wanda E. Carney, and sharing this remembrance with her community:

Wanda Elizabeth Carney passed peacefully in the early afternoon of September 7th, 2020 in Seattle.

Wanda was born July 6th, 1930 in Toronto, Canada to Susan and William MacKay, and was the little sister to her four older brothers. She graduated from Winchester Street School in 1947, and became a nursery school teacher in Toronto. A brief leave was taken in 1953 to cross the ocean and tour Europe with a friend. In 1955 she ventured with friends to teach nursery school in Los Angeles.

On June 22, 1957, she married William E. “Bill” Carney of Seattle after meeting him at a wedding of mutual friends. A long-distance romance via letters between them blossomed into true love and marriage only ten months after they first met. The courtship was short, but the love affair lasted their entire lives.

Wanda and Bill settled in Seattle, and eventually made West Seattle their home for over thirty years. They later moved to the town of Dayton, WA in the 1990s.

Wanda pursued her dream of becoming an elementary school teacher by graduating from South Seattle Community College in 1974, and then from the University of Washington with a degree in English and Elementary Education in 1977. She received her Professional Education Certificate in 1976, and did substitute teaching at grade schools all over the Seattle area.

Wanda was very proud of her Canadian heritage, only becoming an American citizen in 1979 because of a new employment rule requiring it to teach in Washington. As protest, she celebrated Canada Day and Canadian Thanksgiving with even more enthusiasm.

She was a friend to many, and always seemed to be able to make new ones while staying in touch with her old ones. This included neighbors and friends in Seattle and Dayton, people from her church, and her many relatives and old friends from Canada. Her taco dinners were legendary, and her friends and family would eagerly await her annual Christmas gift of homemade shortbread from an old MacKay family recipe.

From an early age, music was a big part of Wanda’s life and passion. She sang in recitals, amateur musicals, choirs, many weddings and the Seattle Chorale. She was often asked to do solos in her United Methodist Church choirs, both in West Seattle and in Dayton. While her children did not inherit her musical talent, they all appreciated and treasured it. Wanda would often sit down at a piano and play a tune, or sometimes just burst out with a favorite song from her memory. It was very special to be able to hear her sing.

Wanda loved to read (something she definitely passed on to her children), and to attend plays, the opera and symphony, musicals and movies. If the movie had good music in it, so much the better. “The Sound of Music” was a favorite of hers. Also, anything with a bagpipe!

She is survived by her daughter Susan Carney, sons Robert Carney (Susanne) and Thomas Carney (Julie Nugent-Carney), and grandchildren Will Kulm, James Kulm, Elizabeth Kulm, Jacob Carney, Cade Carney, and Jackson Carney.

Wanda celebrated her 90th birthday on July 6th of this year outside her residence at the Kenney retirement home, surrounded by family. Jokes were told, laughter rang out, and everyone there had a big smile on their face (especially Mom) – clearly visible despite the protective masks.

She lived a full life, and is dearly missed by her family. A celebration of her life will be held in the near future. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Dayton United Methodist Church, 110 S. 3rd ST, Dayton, WA, the Salvation Army, or the Special Olympics.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

3 Replies to "Remembering Wanda E. Carney, 1930-2020"

  • Barbara September 30, 2020 (11:35 am)

    The Carney’s lived 2 doors down from us when all of us “kids” were truly kids.  Wanda always kept an eye out for us if we were over playing with Susan, Bob or Tom.  She was a huge part of our lives and I will always remember her with love. Love you Susan, Bob & Tom! 

  • Bruce Newell September 30, 2020 (11:58 am)

    RIP Mrs. Carney; your were the best  neighborhood Mom; never scolding and always with a smile (maybe a smirk if we were pushing the limits)!

  • Peggy October 1, 2020 (12:21 am)

    May you Rest In Peace with your beloved Bill. My condolences to Susan, Bob and Susanne, Tom and Julie and all of Wanda’s family and friends.  

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