AUGUSTA – William Joseph Carney, age 85, died Wednesday, April 1, 2015 after a short illness. He was born April 13, 1929 in Bellows Falls, VT, the only son of William Charles and Anne Etta (Wolfe) Carney.
Bill is a 1950 graduate of Boston College. He also received a Master of Science Degree in Public Health from University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Following his discharge from the U.S. Air Force in 1953, he began his career in public service as a Health Officer for the city of Bangor, Maine. In 1963, he was recruited by the U.S. Public Health Service and was assigned to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
He and his family moved from Bangor to Augusta in 1963. In 1975, he was appointed as Deputy Commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services by Governor James Longley.
In 1981, he was appointed as the first Administrator of the Maine Veterans Homes, (nursing homes for veterans and their spouse). During his administration, State Veterans Homes were constructed and operating in Augusta, Caribou and Scarborough and federal funding for veterans homes in Bangor and South Paris were secured prior to his retirement in July, 1992. He also taught courses at the School of Nursing at the University of New England, Biddeford. He is a member of American Legion Post 205 Augusta, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Bill and Brenda enjoyed many family gatherings and hosted a large Christmas party at their home for her family every year. They also enjoyed travelling, the outdoors, and spent many happy days skiing, fishing and hiking from their camp at Sugarloaf.
Bill was predeceased in 1973, by his first wife, and mother of his children, Anne (Rielly) Carney; a son, William Matthew Carney in 1955 and his second wife, Priscilla (Graham) Carney in 1994.
He is survived by his wife of almost 20 years, Brenda (Helms) Carney of Augusta; her son, Chris Withee and his wife Chantelle, their children: Josh, Cassandra, Gabe, and Jordan all of Auburn and her daughter, Becky Walton and her fiancée Brian Oleary and their daughters: Tyla and Riley of Auburndale, FL; Bill’s daughter, Mary Lou Upton, her husband Joseph and their children: Mathew all of Bainbridge Island, WA and Vinalhaven Island and Katie Eichleay, her husband, Peter and their son, Graydon “Grady” all of West Bath; Bill’s sons: William Gerard Carney, his wife Penny and their daughter, Kelly all of Okemos, MI and Peter Matthew Carney, his wife Debbie and her children: Brett and Erica Barber of Augusta as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Relatives and friends may visit on Friday, April 10th from 9-11 AM at Plummer Funeral Home, 16 Pleasant St., Augusta where a funeral service will be held at 11 AM. Burial and committal prayers with military honors will follow in the chapel at the new Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Mt. Vernon Rd., Augusta.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Bill’s memory be made to: Disabled American Veterans Memorial Program, PO Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH, 45250.
Condolences, photos and memories may be shared at