CARTERVILLE -- Michael "Mike" E. Carney, 69, died Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, at his home, surrounded by his family.
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Services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, in First Baptist Church in Carterville with Pastor Val Gene Treece and the Rev. Brad Harlow officiating. Burial will be in Hillcrest Cemetery in Carterville. Visitation will begin after 5 p.m. today at Riggin-Pillatsch and Burke Funeral Home in Carterville.
Memorial contributions may be made to Gum Drops, P.O. Box 228, Carterville, IL 62918; or Hospice of Southern Illinois, 204 Halfway Road, Marion, IL 62959.
Mike was born Nov. 24, 1943, at home in Carterville to Ray L. and Genevieve (Talley) Carney. He married the love of his life, Dixie Lou Woodson, on Aug. 29, 1964, in First Baptist Church in Herrin. Dixie always said she married the most handsome guy with beautiful blue eyes and a smile that would melt a one's heart.
Survivors include his loving wife of 48 years, Dixie Carney of Carterville; daughter and son-in-law, Amy Michelle and Ron Simpson of Carterville; son, Mark Richard Carney of Carterville; grandchildren, Michael Ray Seyfert and Millie Lou Seyfert, both of Carterville; stepgranddaughter, Veronica Simpson of Carterville; sister-in-law, Pat Pearce of Glendale, Ariz.; nephews, John Barwick of Cambria, Rick Pearce of Surprise, Ariz., and Randy Pearce of Glendale, Ariz.; several cousins; and many close friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Doug Carney; mother-in-law, Mildred Woodson; brother-in-law, Bobby "Shine" Pearce; sister-in-law, Beverly Barwick Bowles; and special niece, Jackie Barwick Moore.
Mike was a 1961 graduate of Carterville High School and then attended VTI for one year. After VTI, he served his plumber's apprenticeship under Tom Tregoning. He began his plumber and pipefitter trade in 1964. Although Mike retired in 2000, he kept busy with maintenance work on the rental properties he and Dixie owned.
He was a member of First Baptist Church in Carterville.
Mike was very active in various community organizations. He was on the board of trustees for Blue Herron Boat and Yacht Club, where he enjoyed coffee six mornings a week with his fishing buddies. He retired from Carterville City Council after 20 years of service as an alderman. He also was a volunteer fireman and auxiliary police officer for more than 20 years.
He was a lifetime member of Williamson County Coal Belt Association. He also was a member of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 551, Democrat Precinct Committee and Little Egypt Bass Club. He was a past Lions Club member, and he and Dixie belonged to a square dancing group.
Mike was an avid crappie fisherman and made his own jigs and flies, a trait he has passed on to his granddaughter, Millie Lou. He enjoyed playing pinochle and spades at the fire department and other card games with Dixie and other friends and couples.
He loved to travel with his family, taking his grandchildren on Disney and other neat vacations. One of his favorite trips was an Alaskan cruise for Dixie's 50th birthday with two other couples. His favorite places to visit included New Orleans, Branson and Phoenix.
Mike loved his porch swing and watching the neighbor children play. He also liked bird watching, tending to his yard and working in his rose and tomato garden. He always strived to produce the first tomatoes of the season.
Family was the most precious part of Mike's life. Being a grandpa was No. 1 to him. He will be dearly missed.
To view this obituary and sign the guest register, visit www.rigginpillatschburkefh.com.
Published in The Southern Illinoisan from February 17 to February 19, 2013