Jeanne Karass Bridwell Carney
Jeanne was born on April 7, 1923 to Oscar and Vera Karass. She spent her childhood near her father’s grocery store across the street from the lively City & County Building on Washington Square (2nd E and 4th S). A lifelong student, she began her studies at Oquirrh Elementary, Bryant J. High, East High, Texas Tech, and the U of U, where she graduated magna cum laude with a BA degree. In 1945, she married her high school sweetheart, George Bridwell, in San Antonio, Texas, prior to the outbreak of WWII. Four daughters came along later, and four grandparents were included. All of them fondly remembered the clickity-clack of the narrow gauge railway train to Saltair in the summertime; grandpas in brimmed hats, grandmas with baskets of homemade picnic chicken and frosted cakes. The kids slept outside all summer on the front porch, watching the night lights: moon, stars, airplanes, and then satellites. Winters were spent skiing at Brighton or Solitude. She made sure there were dogs, cats, ducks, horses, lambs, and talking parakeets around the scrub oak fields at home. She also took charge of Brownie Scouts, the Liberty Park Girls’ Tennis Team, and the YWCA Live-Y’ers. People called her “The Great Appreciator” because she loved and accepted so many kinds of people. Her advice to all of us: “Get out there girls! Learn things, make things, stand up straight, and have some fun!”
After George passed away in 1983, she became reacquainted with Don Carney at her 40th East High Class Reunion. Their marriage in 1984 brought Don’s four daughters into the family. All eight of us watched with joy as Jeanne and Don became writers, poets, and world travelers from their home base in Mesa, Arizona. They gave us inspiration for gratitude and an afterglow of smiles and happy memories.