Estella Mae Carney

May 27, 1932 - March 17, 2019

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Thursday, May 30, 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
LaGrange American Legion Post 215


Estella Mae Carney, 86, of LaGrange, died Sunday, March 17, 2019, at Miller's Merry Manor in LaGrange.

She was born May 27, 1932 to Chester and Lucille (Fonner) Johnson.

On June 28, 1953 in the First United Methodist Church of LaGrange she married Rollin "Sam" Carney. He preceded her in death on June 30, 2010.

Surviving are a daughter, Cindy (Steve) Pasternak of Roanoke, Virginia; six grandchildren, Sean, Jr. (Malissa), Seth, Vince (Miranda), Rollin, Pete, and Ashley; three great-grandchildren, Savannah, Sam, and Sabastian; a daughter-in-law, Karoline Carney; a brother, Dr. Jerre (Marilyn) Johnson of Williamsburg, Virginia; and dear friends, Jeff Duzan and Renee Betcke.

She was also preceded in death by two sons, Patrick Carney and Sean Carney, and a brother, Ralph Johnson.

Estella had lived her whole life in LaGrange and it was one of her biggest loves to be a servant to the community of LaGrange. Being a champion of those in need, she generously gave and supported an untold number of people in the community. She, along with her family, resurrected and renovated numerous properties over the years which include the Valley Line Train Depot, the now Agape Missions, the Masonic Lodge and the Brickhouse Inn. Some of their repair works were recognized in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

The family business, Carney Decorating Center, was truly the center of her life for 53 years. Yet, another building they renovated to update it to meet the modern needs of the public, all while keeping its vintage charm. Estella especially loved the flowers in the floral shop. She could often be seen walking with a big bunch of flowers in her walker basket every day as she tended the shop. The beautiful flowers that could be seen throughout downtown LaGrange were meticulously cared for by her.

Her two Bed and Breakfasts, the M & N and The Brickhouse Inn, hosted people from all over the United States and other countries as well.

Her life was rich and full; she lived to seize each and every day. Her work will never be done as she will always love from her heart, this town of LaGrange, no matter where she is.

Estella, our shining star will never cease to shine brightly.

She and her husband were lifelong members of the First United Methodist Church of LaGrange and had the honor of being named Citizens of the Year in 2003 by the town of LaGrange. They were long-time owners and operators of Carney Funeral Home in LaGrange. The whole family was honored by the Daughters of the American Revolution for their extensive renovations throughout the town. Estella and Sam never sought recognition for their historical restoration efforts and simply said that they did it because they loved it. From spearheading the effort to save the original historic brick streets to the flowers downtown, the Carney’s were the soul that is historic LaGrange.

A celebration of life service will be Thursday, May 30, 2019 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the LaGrange American Legion Post 215. Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery, LaGrange.

Memorials are to the ARK Animal Sanctuary, 0530 E 300 S, LaGrange, IN 46761.

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Guest Book

Sandra L (Evans) Anderson
April 17th, 2019 12:15am
Mesa, AZ

This is a truly beautiful tribute to Estella and to her husband, Sam. They were an inspiration to me. I remember one time when I went into the flower shop, Estella gave me a blue carnation to give to my Mom, Mabel Evans for her birthday. She truly cared for others and had a big heart.

Mabel Evans
March 27th, 2019 8:23pm
Binghamton, NY 13905

Family of Estella and Jerry and family, She was always such a dear friend to all of our family and will be missed by many. May God comfort you all at this difficult time. Mabel

March 26th, 2019 9:12am

My condolences to the family. Please be comforted by the Bible's promise of the resurrection. John 5:28,29, Acts 24:15

Michael and Cheryl Tague
March 25th, 2019 3:22pm
Grand Haven, Michigan

We will never forget all the great family reunions we had in Lagrange. It was wonderful thru the years and thank you

Sharon Hunter
March 25th, 2019 1:17pm
South Bend, Indiana

I worked at the decorating center for many years. I loved Estella dearly. She had a heart of gold! The world has lost a great lady. No one cared more about her community, and no one could decorate a Christmas tree like Estell. Love and blessings to the family.

El kane
March 24th, 2019 10:14pm
La Grange, Indiana

May the Angels sing to you

Kari Lipscomb
March 24th, 2019 1:07am
Mongo, IN

Estella Carney made LaGrange a better place. She loved her community so much and she’s already missed by so many people. I remember, being a child, and she would always acknowledge me. When I fell off my bike and broke my arm, she clearly instructed me to “never” do that again, then she handed me a little get well present. She was a special woman with an eye for all things beautiful.

Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Kinsinger
March 23rd, 2019 8:30pm

So sorry for your lost. She was a great and wonderful woman

Katie Caldwell
March 21st, 2019 12:22pm

Memories- rented upstairs apt on Poplar St, Stella was a Blessing to all.

Derek Harp
March 20th, 2019 7:25pm
billings mt

Cindy and family , my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Ken and Sue Velie
March 19th, 2019 5:20pm

We are so sorry for your loss. She will be missed.

Becky Drerup, MSN, NP-C
March 19th, 2019 1:23pm
Rome City, IN

To Estella's daughter and family. Your Mom and Grandma was a person who I always aspired to be more like. Her giving heart and kindness to all those around her was a true inspiration. I had many occasions to work with her for the Community Foundation and events. Not too long ago I stopped to see her at the furniture store and though she was fail, she said, " sit down lets talk" we sat there in the atmosphere she loved and spent so much of her life in, having a wonderful conversation that included a great amount of laughter. I will never forget one time I asked if she would decorate my Christmas tree, she said sure, then I told her I wanted it to be purple. and that it was 10 feet tall! Oh how beautiful it was with so many decorations, birds, and unique items that we enjoyed, ever so much. You will be missed Mrs. Carney and your hand and vision will live on in LaGrange for many years to come. We are all better for having known you and the light that you shined on this small town was ever so bright.

Cheryl Coburn
March 19th, 2019 4:00am
Bristol, Indiana

This lady was such a inspection to me!! I loved her dearly!

Terri Stutzman
March 19th, 2019 12:16am
St. Joe, IN. 46785

I remember going to their B&B house, it was so beautiful and the food was wonderful. Her and Sam were lovely people

Evelyn Johnson Reddick
March 18th, 2019 11:29pm
Howe, IN

Such a sweet lady. My condolences & prayers for her family.

Sue keenan
March 18th, 2019 7:31pm

Family members What an absolute truly unique person. Giving to a fault if that can be said. Always ready to help Ark. Always! What an incredible life she had - golf cart and all. Treasure the memories as many as are there and keep on with her amazing ways.

Tom and Jane Hulen
March 18th, 2019 6:46pm

We are so sorry for your loss - I have such fond memories of Estella - such a grand lady she was - God's Blessings