New Central High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota - 1913

Central High School

New Central High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota - 1913


Robert S. Carney

Bob Carney was born September 10, 1909, in Williston North Dakota. His family moved to Minneapolis, where he attended Emerson elementary school, played second base and the saxophone, and was a schoolmate of J. Paul Getty. Bob was a great admirer or Getty, and wrote the Minneapolis history of Getty in the 1983 Hennepin History magazine.

In February of 1927 Bob's family suffered the loss of his brother, Eugene, to pneumonia. In June of 1927, Bob graduated from Central High School, where he was captain of the Tennis team, Sports editor of the school paper, and class President. Bob had a great fondness for Central, and was active in many High School reunions. At the May 1982 All-Central "Final Reunion" to honor Central's 122 years and observe the school's closing, Bob gave a history of Central and an eulogy. At a 1977 diamond jubilee 60th class reunion for the class of 1927, joined by '26 and '28, Bob's Central classmate Eddie Albert was honored.

Bob attended the University of Minnesota, graduating with a law degree in 1933. During his college years Bob led an active social life, as a member of the Chi Psi fraternity. Together with Eugene Rogers he produced the 1930 pledge night review program. With money earned as a dance promoter, Bob bought a new Ford Roadster, and traveled to Europe for three months, working over and back as an activities coordinator for Holland American lines. While in Paris, Bob took pleasure in ordering a drink at the Ritz. Fifty seven years later he returned for another.

From 1933 to 1953 Bob practiced law with his father, as Carney and Carney. During World War II, after being turned down on his physical as a potential Naval Officer, Bob joined the FBI. He remained active with the Federation of ex-FBI agents, and frequently went to the monthly lunches at the Fort Snelling Officer's Club.

In 1949 Bob took over a small billiard cue manufacturing company, Lindley Incorporated. Over the next 25 years, Lindley manufactured billiard cues in Richfield, Minnesota. During the company's heyday in the 1950's, Lindley had three shifts, and over 60 employees. Each year Bob took great pleasure in sending out a Christmas letter to all his customers.

In May of 1951 Bob married Jennie Mathilda Stenman, in Dallas Texas. At the time, Jennie was working as an assistant manager at the Minikhada Club. In 1953 Bob and Jennie became parents, with the birth of their son Robert Jr. During their years together, Jennie was active at Lynnhurst Church, and for a number of years had the annual Church Plant Sale at the family's home on Colfax. As the grew older, Bob and Jennie also grew closer. Their golden years were interrupted when Jennie preceded Bob in death in 1986. Bob continued his friendships with Jennie's family in Minneapolis until his death in 1996.

Bob served for many years as an adjunct Professor of Law at William Mitchell law school, and served as a corporate member of William Mitchell for 39 years. Bob was active for many years on the Bar Memorial Committee. Each year the Committee conducts a memorial service for lawyers who have died during the year, and publishes a program of memorials written by family members and friends. In a 1993 Hennepin Lawyer article, Bob wrote: "It would seem that all lawyers also consider themselves authors. As you read the memorials, you see not only the talent of the authors in their beautiful writing, research, and their use of prose and poetry, but you also recognize that they are doing their very best to honor and record the achievements and life stories of their departed friends."

Bob was a co-founder, with Phil Harris, of the Memorial Blood Center of Minneapolis, and served as a board member continuously from 1948. Bob was committed to cooperation among blood banks, and to community based blood banks.

Bob was also a badminton player at the Minneapolis Athletic Club for forty-four years. Badminton was a sport he loved, and he was an enthusiastic promoter of the game. On a 1985 trip to England with Jennie, he visited Badminton House, where Badminton was first played in England. In 1981 Bob organized a Badminton exhibition at the MAC featuring a match between Semyon Rozin, a recent champion of the Soviet Union, and Richard Lim, a recent champion of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Bob's feeling for the game comes through in the quotation from The Song of Solomon 2:12 in the exhibition program:

The flowers appear on the earth,
The time of the singing of birds is come,
And the voice of the turtledove is heard in the land.

In all his activities, Bob Carney was an inveterate chronicler. He was particularly fond of preparing souvenir programs for many of the events he attended or participated in. This was important work to Bob. One of his practices in writing was to cut a draft into paragraphs, and then to carefully consider the order of the paragraphs. Bob would often work late into the night on a program or a project, until he felt it was as it should be.

In all of Bob's activities there was a common thread: his love for people, his interest in their lives, his need to serve, and his commitment to work that endures. He was the same in his work, his activities, and with his family.

This page was last revised 4/1/2006