Born April 1, 1946, in Kansas City Missouri, Richard Lee Carney was the fourth child born to the union of Mildred and Howard Carney. Richard received his education from the Kansas City Missouri Public School District and was a proud graduate of Southeast High School where he played football, ran track, and was a member of the ROTC. After high school, he completed coursework at Metropolitan Community College and went on to enlist in the United States Navy where he briefly served until he was honorably discharged.
Shortly after the Navy, love came calling and Richard married his forever love – Nedra Harrison. The two high school sweethearts joined in holy matrimony on August 20, 1966 at the tender ages of 17 and 19, and together they set off to build a life together full of special memories with family and friends and many adventures in travel.
Richard worked for his father, Howard Carney Sr. at C&C Excavating and Construction Company for more than 15 years where he met long time construction industry friends like Dean Willis, Dave Carpenter, and Chris Roe. After his father’s retirement in 1989, Richard took the helm of the family business as owner and operator of Carney Excavating, Inc. Under Richard’s leadership, Carney Excavating Inc. worked on a number of high-profile construction projects throughout the Kansas City area some of which included the Bartle Hall Expansion, Bruce R Watkins Roadway (71 Hwy), Federal Reserve Building, Kansas City Zoo, Kansas Speedway and a litany of other projects. In 1998, he received the Contractor of the Year Award from the Minority Contractors Association of Greater Kansas City. And in 2000 Carney Excavating was honored as Construction Firm of the Year during Minority Enterprise Development Week.
A hard worker, Richard also believed life was to be enjoyed not just endured. Whether it was celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, informal gatherings or just a fun time with family and friends – there was something to be enjoyed, celebrated, and a reason to laugh each and every day. A football enthusiast and a proud member of “Chiefs Kingdom” there was nothing Richard enjoyed more than supporting his beloved Kansas City Chiefs. A season ticket holder for more than 30 years, during football season you could find him at Arrowhead Stadium or in his favorite easy chair watching the Chiefs anytime they played. Another one of Richard’s favorite past-times was reminiscing about “the neighborhood” he grew up in during his youth and all of the fun and childhood mischief he would get into with his buddies.
Richard loved his family and friends …he loved his church, his pastor, and his brothers in Christ – the Deacons of Macedonia Baptist Church. Equally important to Richard was his relationship with the Lord and his faith. He first became an ordained deacon October 13, 2002 at Zion Grove Missionary Baptist Church. In 2014, he became a member of Macedonia Baptist Church and was installed as a deacon June 26, 2016 under the leadership of Pastor John L. Brooks. He served faithfully until his health began to fail him.
To know Richard was to know kindness, generosity, and what caring for others looked like. He was always willing to do whatever he could to help others; and it was always done quietly. While no children were born to Richard and Nedra’s union, he had a host of nieces and nephews that he doted on with unwavering love and devotion and was more than Uncle Richard to so many of them. He was known as Daddy Uncle/”Duncle” to his nieces Trish and Kelly for whom he served as father for the last 35 years after the passing of their Dad, David.
On May 5, 2020 Richard left this earth to be with his Heavenly Father. He is preceded in death by his father, Howard Carney, Sr. (Lola), sister Juanita Carney, and brother, David Carney.
Richard leaves to cherish his memory his devoted wife of 53 years Nedra Carney and faithful pet schnauzer, Henry; mother, Mildred Carney; brothers Howard Carney, Jr. and Louis Carney; stepmother Lola Carney; a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and family members, very special friends; and business associates.
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