Margaret Carroll Mullen Carney was a wonderful mother. She taught her three daughters – Carroll, Susan, and Resie – the importance of kindness, relationships, and perseverance. Together, the four created quite a stir around Rosemont as the Carney Girls.
Notably, Mrs. Carney was as thoughtful to the mailman and receptionist, actually anyone she met, as she was to her daughters, Susan said.
She was also a valued volunteer. A longtime contributor at St. Francis Country House, Sacred Heart Academy, and Rosemont College, Mrs. Carney established the successful St. Francis Gift Shop and in 1988 was awarded the St. Francis Medal for her work.
“Always ready to help, always ready to offer assistance. I learned about volunteering on a lifetime basis from her,” a former colleague wrote in a tribute. “Making a commitment to a group and sticking with it.”
Mrs. Carney, 87, died on Friday, Nov. 20, of COVID-19 at Bryn Mawr Hospital.
Born in Philadelphia and raised in Center City, Margaret Carroll Mullen graduated from Convent of the Sacred Heart, now Sacred Heart Academy, and Rosemont College. A free spirit, she met her future husband, Bill Carney, at Mrs. Sellers’ dancing class at the Merion Cricket Club. They dated throughout high school and college, and daughter Susan said they may have never dated anyone else.
After she and Bill married in 1957, they lived in Rosemont on Meadowood Road, and went about raising their daughters. The family loved sailing, and the girls remember their mother whipping up scrambled eggs and bacon bits for breakfast on board, and packing the cooler tight with five lunches for later in the day.
During their 33-year marriage, the sociable Carneys were regulars for dinner and drinks with friends and family at the General Wayne Inn in Merion, and Mrs. Carney and her friends at the Overbrook Golf Club were known around town as the feisty “tennis ladies.”
Mrs. Carney was a people person with a sense of humor “who picked up her game” when her husband died, Susan said. She worked as director of alumnae relations at Rosemont, and, an avid reader, followed current events closely. She fell ill in 2019 but recovered quickly in large part, Susan said, due to spending special time with her great-granddaughter, Warren Carroll.
“She always gave of her time and service,” Susan said. “Everybody says they remember her smile.”