DIANE DEASON CARNEY

 

It is hard to believe it has been almost 50 years since our exciting and formative days at Capuchino. Since most of you knew Neil Calhoon, who was part of my life for 35 of those years, I will tell some of his story as I tell you mine. After graduating from Cap, Neil and I attended San Jose State College (as it was called then). I pledged a sorority (Kappa Kappa Gamma) my freshman year and remain close to many of the sisters I met then. I graduated in 1964 with a BA degree in English. Inspired by Miss Murtaugh and Mr. Meaders, I attended graduate school with the intent to obtain a credential to teach English and French at the high school level. Midway through my student teaching assignment I decided this was not the career path for me.

 

Neil graduated in January of 1965, and we were married a month later, only to end the marriage by the end of that year. He was immediately drafted into the Army and was stationed at Fort Sam Houston, TX, serving as company clerk for the next two years. I worked for a year at Stanford Research Institute before becoming a flight attendant for TWA, a job I loved for seven years. I lived in New York for two years working international flights to Europe and even some military charter flights to Vietnam. After transferring back to San Francisco, I remarried Neil in 1969. We bought a home in San Jose where we lived for 24 years. Neil became a sales rep for 3M Company, a job he enjoyed for 15 years. He then decided he wanted to be his own boss so he started an automotive refinishing supplies business in Gilroy. After having some success with his first store, he opened another in Watsonville a couple of years later.

 

Neil and I had two lovely daughters. Kim, now 36 is a stay at home mom of three sons, 6, 4 and 1, and is married to a mechanical engineer and lives in Pleasanton. She will resume her career as a teacher and reading specialist when all the boys are in school. Karalee, now 34, is the mother of two sons aged 2 and 4 months. She and her husband live in Sacramento and both work for PGE, she as a Community Contributions Project Manager and he as an HR manager. Karalee is in the process of getting a Masters Degree from USF.

 

Having been a stay at home mom, when my daughters started school I decided to reenter the work force in the banking arena and worked for B of A for 5 years. I then spent 10 years at IBM Credit Union in San Jose ending my career there as Branch Manager of the Santa Clara office. In 1992 Neil was diagnosed with cancer of the throat and lungs. He remained at home until his death in January of 1994 at the age of 51. A few months later I made the decision to take a new direction in life and sold our home in San Jose and moved to Rescue, a small town in the Sierra foothills 30 miles east of Sacramento in El Dorado County. My dad always called this area Godís country (which it is). Dad also had died of cancer and left my step-mother (also my dear friend) alone in Cameron Park. My move was partially to close a long chapter in my life, as well as to spend time with my step-mom while my daughters were away at college and finding their way in the world. The decision proved to be a good one.

 

After moving to Rescue I fatefully ran into the husband of my TWA roommate whom I had not seen in 22 years. We reunited and she led me to a counseling position with Consumer Credit Counseling Service where she was working. I spent the next 10 years at that agency, retiring as Director of Counseling in 2005. While working there I met Tony Carney, a Management Consultant who was hired to do training for our staff. We had an instant connection and were married in 2001, a year to the day of our first date. Yes, I finally found my soul mate. Tony also has two daughters, Keely, 36, an artist who lives in Portland, and Tarryn, 32, who lives in Denver with her husband (both work in management for Safeway) and one year old daughter. We are truly blessed to have six lovely grandchildren and a terrific family.Tony is still working with the State of California doing leadership training for State managers and supervisors. He teaches and facilitates workshops on many topics relating to business management, a profession he loves. Retirement is still a few years away for him.

 

Since retiring I have had no problem adjusting to the life of leisure. I enjoy cooking and crafting, decorating, and spending time with friends and family. Tony and I love playing golf, cruising, Hawaii, food and wine, the Sacramento Kings, our Wheaten Terrier, Fergus, old movies, watching BBC television dramas and comedy series, and relaxing and entertaining in our home. I am so anxious to reacquaint with many of the Cap 60 classmates at the mini reunion in Placerville next month and the big 50th bash next October. See you there!