Jay Carnes, 70, went to his Lord, Oct. 16, 2012, after a lengthy illness.
He was born Aug. 2, 1942, in Carthage, to James and Loriee (Stroud) Carnes. He is preceded in death by his parents and daughter, Sharon (Sheri) Carnes. Jay married Toni Bushnell on Mar. 17, 1977, and celebrated with her their 35th wedding anniversary this year.
The Carnes started their business as wagon makers; then brick makers; then a wrecker service; then a car dealership with an expanded showroom and automotive repair shop. Jay attended Pittsburg State. In his last semester, when his father lost his sight to glaucoma, Jay stepped in and assumed his role in the oldest father to son business in Newton County and Neosho.
Jay was an avid reader. Before he started a project, he read everything he could, not casually, but intensive reading so that he knew all there was to know before picking up a tool. Jimmy taught Jay if you can't find the answer, call the factory. Jay applied that lesson and came to have Carl Shelby's personal phone number for problem solving consultations.
Jay become known as the best carburetor man in the area. Many customers would say, “That car didn’t run that good when it was new.” Then he evolved into the "hot rod" man and Carnes Motors became "the local hang-out.” Local authorities were very tolerant of the "latest project" noise, a drive-by with a wave was enough to signal it's time to go home.
Jay did all the “hands- on” work on the block assembly plus chassis design, which included: two open wheeled race cars, several circle track cars and two hot rod pull trucks, all built from the ground up by Jay. His friends usually became go-fers knowing that come Friday and Saturday nights they would share in the joy of watching Jay's cars win the heats and then the finals. He did have some sponsorship of local businesses and tire dealers. He was a member of the Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pulling Association. If Jay could not find the tool, he made it on his lathe. He was an inventor.
He lived his life proud of his Dodge, Hemi, and Mopar obsessions.
Toni and Jay THANK the following friends and family: B. Carnes, J. McBee, Ruddicks, Ross's, L. Faucetts, R. Bay, Renfro, R. Belk, Leland Osborn, J. Pace, R. Stephens, D.Tanner, A. Sink, T. Courtney, S. Merrill, C. Burnett, A. Hailey, J. McBride, JR. Penn, L. Studdard, the Hathaway brothers, B. Turner, Darren, Neiderts, J. Kimbrough; Fred's Auto, Neosho Auto, Crow Burlingame, Griffiths, O'Reillys and all the area salvage yards.
If you don't see your name or business, please forgive. Memory can only hold so much, but always know your friendship, support and participation with Jay and Carnes Motor Co. is a cherished one.
Page 2 of 2 - A special THANKS to Carl Childress, who walked into the shop as a youth, became a son to Jay, endured much, but always was supportive, who observed and learned much. Now a man who has evolved into a “sought after” mechanic in his own right!