COOPERSTOWN Roxana P. Carnes, a longtime resident of Cooperstown, passed away Tuesday evening, May 1, 2012, at Valley Health Services in Herkimer. She was 91.
Roxana Beecher Park was born June 27, 1920, in Englewood, N.J. She had a sister 10 years older and a brother nine years older than she. Her father, Charles Francis Park Jr., was a graduate of Williams College and was employed as a vice president of the Marine Midland Bank of New YorkCity. Roxy’s mother, Gertrude Roxana Beecher, was graduated from Smith College.
Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” was Roxy’s great-great-aunt, and Henry Ward Beecher was her great-grandfather.
Growing up in Englewood was fun for Roxy. Although she enjoyed playing tennis, riding horses and gardening, her favorite activities were climbing trees and readingoutside in the hammock. Her parents enjoyed the outdoors as well, and played tennisand other sports. During the Depression they had a tennis court and a swimming pool built to employ men who were out of work. At a young age, Roxy felt that raisinghorses, dogs and children, in that order, was what she most wanted to do.
Roxy graduated from Smith College in 1942, with a BA degree. In college her favorite subjects were math, science and history. She also loved poetry. After college she studied nursing at Columbia Presbyterian and graduated in 1945, a registered nurse with a bachelor of science degree.
While in nursing school, Roxy met her future husband, Sheldon Yates Carnes. They courted and were married on Oct. 22, 1944. Roxy began working at Englewood Hospital, while Sheldon was overseas for a year. Roxy’s first child, Sheldon Yates Carnes Jr., was born in Englewood. Soon the family moved to Canajoharie where they lived for the next seven years. During that time Roxy gave birth to three daughters, Katy, Roxy and Sandy, at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown.
Mr. Carnes worked for Arkell and Smith, the oldest name in paper bags that held products such as flour, coffee, dog food and cement. Roxy often travelled with her husband on business to places including Havana, Cuba, and Guatemala. She remembers one of her husband’s early jobs was collecting chicle in Guatemala for Beechnut. The Carnes moved the family back to Englewood, N.J., where son, Terry was born. While living there, the family acquired a donkey named Daisy, who gave children rides in local church events and was a fun family pet. In time Daisy gave birth to Daffodil. At this time the town of Englewood passed an ordinance prohibiting new donkeys from living within the town. The children were concerned about this, but it was decided that since Daffodil had been a part of Daisy, she was not new, but an existing donkey at the time the ordinance was passed.
When her youngest child was in college, Roxy and her husband divorced. Roxy then moved to Cooperstown and was employed as a nurse at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital and The Meadows, and served as an Emergency Medical Technician with the Cooperstown Emergency Squad.
She also volunteered at the Susquehanna SPCA, Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, Glimmerglass Opera, Cooperstown Central School, and with Catskill Area Hospice.
An active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown, Roxy also belonged to the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Cooperstown Women’s Club, and the Cooperstown Area Christian Women’s Club.
Though in later years Roxy had stopped climbing trees, she still had a great love for the outdoors, sports and gardening, as well as playing bridge, knitting and doing needlepoint.
A sense of humor and faith in God always helped Roxy throughout her long and welllived life.
Roxy is survived by three daughters, Katherine (“Katy”) Yates Carnes of Seattle, Wash., Roxana (“Roxy”) Carnes Pickering of Guilford, Conn., and Sandra (“Sandy”) Carnes Galitzer of New York City; two sons, Sheldon Yates Carnes Jr. of Troy and Walter Baldwin (“Terry”) Carnes III, and his wife, Patty of Perkasie, Pa.; six grandchildren, Roxana Pickering Ploski (Jon), Nelson Winslow Pickering, Elizabeth Appleton Pickering, Gwynn Edythe Galitzer, David Beecher Carnes and Jonathan Daniel Carnes; and one greatgrandson, Andrew Timothy Ploski.
In addition to her former husband, she was preceded in death by her brother, William Park; and her sister, Kay Merrill Iverson.
A Memorial Service will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 14, 2012, at the First Presbyterian Church in Cooperstown, with the Rev. Elsie Armstrong Rhodes, pastor, officiating. Following the service a luncheon will be offered in the Chapel.
Roxy’s final resting place will be in the Columbarium in the Presbyterian Church-yard. As an alternative to flowers, please consider memorial donations to Glimmerglass Opera, P.O. Box 191, Cooperstown, NY 13326 or the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown, 25 Church St., Cooperstown, NY 13326 or to Valley Health Services, 690 West German St., Herkimer, NY 13350.
Arrangements are under the guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.