Shrewsbury – Richard D. Carney, Sr., 84, retired Town Manager of the town of Shrewsbury, died peacefully at home Friday, Oct. 14, 2011, following a courageous battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.
Mr. Carney, as he was affectionately and respectfully referred to, was born in Somerville and raised in Arlington, a son of the late James and Mary (Fitzgerald) Carney. He graduated from Arlington High School and then attended Northeastern University. His education was interrupted by World War II, when he joined the U.S. Army, where he was attached to the Pentagon.
When the War ended, he returned to Boston, met his future wife, Doris M. Thompson of Haverhill, and graduated from Northeastern in 1952. Mr. & Mrs. Carney were married in 1953, and were set to celebrate their 58th year of marriage at the end of October.
Following graduation, Mr. Carney was appointed to the Assistant Town Manager position in the town of Arlington, where the Carney family lived until moving to Shrewsbury, when he was appointed the Town Manager in 1957 at the age of 29. He remained in that position until 1998, serving 41 years in Shrewsbury.
Mr. Carney's wisdom, knowledge, guiding hand, and genuine ability to lead proved instrumental in the formation and improvement of many vital services presently available in town. At the time of his retirement, and still today, he was the longest serving town manager in the Commonwealth for a single town. He received many honors throughout his career in recognition of his astute leadership abilities, including the naming of the Shrewsbury Municipal Complex in his honor.
For many years he enjoyed nightly swims and exercising at the Greendale YMCA. He loved his summer home on Cape Cod, especially relaxing on Harding's Beach and biking the Rail Trail in Chatham. Most recently, he enjoyed water walking and going on “mystery rides” with his new friends at the Southgate community, where they often asked him to select the mystery destination due to his intimate knowledge of the town. He was a devoted member of Saint Anne's Parish in Shrewsbury, and never missed a Sunday Mass.
Besides his beloved wife, Doris, he leaves his six adoring children and their spouses, Nancy E. Snow and husband James of Belchertown, Susan T. Breagy and husband Richard of Hubbardston, Jayne Carney Senecal and husband Gregg of Shrewsbury, Linda Carney Dupell and husband Doug of Orange, R. David Carney Jr. and wife Mary of Shrewsbury, and Peter J. Carney and wife Christine of Shrewsbury; his brother, Charles Carney and wife Gerry of Arlington; his sister, Alice O”Shea and husband Joseph of Wayland; his 11 grandchildren, James Snow, G. Scott Senecal, Patrick Marmysh, Rick Senecal, Bill Snow, Pete Carney Jr., John Carney, Daniel Carney, Krysten Carney, Tim Carney and Matthew Breagy; Kayla and Michael; his two great-grandchildren, Everett and Declan; and many nieces, nephews and dear friends. He was predeceased by his grandson, Christopher, and four of his brothers, Jim, Paul, Jack and Leo.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend visiting hours on Monday, Oct. 17, from 1 to 3 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., at the Britton-Shrewsbury Funeral Home, 648 Main St., Shrewsbury. His funeral will be held Tuesday, Oct. 18, with a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at 10 a.m. in Saint Anne's Church, 130 Boston Tpke. (Route 9), Shrewsbury. Burial, with Military Honors, will follow in Mountain View Cemetery of Shrewsbury.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to either Saint Anne's Human Services, the Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services, or to the Shrewsbury Community Scholarship Fund.
For online condolences, please visit www.brittonfuneralhomes.com.