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June 13, 2021

5/28/2021 2:16:00 PM
Carol Carney

Carol “Walbridge” Carney, 85, of Lindstrom, Minnesota, passed away May 22, 2021, after a short stay at Parmly On the Lake nursing home, with her family by her side.

She was born to the late Hank and Leona Walbridge, December 25, 1935 in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Carol graduated from Mechanic Arts High School in 1954 and was homecoming queen that year.

She was married to Jim Carney, her high school sweetheart, weeks short of 68 years. They lived in Maplewood, MN for 18 years before building their dream home on South Lindstrom Lake, where they lived together for over 30 years.

Carol is survived by her husband; two children, Michael (Susie) Carney and Lori Bestler; grandchildren, Shane (Leslie) Carney, Chelsey Carney, and Brittney (David) Bestler-Peck; great-granddaughters Lilly Carney and Chloe Peck; and two sisters, Ladonna Clepper and Lucille Kotosky.

Carol was the first St. Paul Winter Carnival's Klondike Kate of 1971. In January 2021, she was interviewed by Kathy Berdan with the St. Paul Pioneer Press and KSTP TV’s news anchor Brandi Powell and photographed in her home to promote the Klondike Kate organization’s 50 year anniversary. At 85, Carol was photographed wearing the same dress and sash that won her the title. When prompted, she launched into a gleeful display of singing and performing to the song she sang so long ago. She was the president of the Kates, instrumental at organizing appearances as they sang in parades, community events and benefits for senior citizens.

Carol was also the longest  featured “Grand Casino Story” commercial, acting in her own TV commercial  as the woman who got locked out of her hotel room wearing her pj's, hiding alongside a hallway pop machine until someone showed up to help her. She was on billboards, postcards, fliers and more. The casino was her most happy place, and she was lucky.

Truly, Carol was a delightful entertainer, an exquisite storyteller, a fun loving spirit and uplifting soul that brought a smile to the face of even a stranger. She held the best garage sales around, giving coffee and a chair on the patio for shoppers so they could enjoy the view of the lake while taking a break. Her love of people, kindness, and fun loving spirit will be dearly missed by all.

A Celebration of Life was held Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at Grandstrand Funeral Home in Lindstrom, with burial at Fort Snelling Cemetery.  Condolences may be expressed online at www. grandstrandfh.com

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