Fire victim Shawna Carney worked hard, cared for all, family says

By Ashley Luthern


Shawna Carney was a loving, caring woman with a strong work ethic, family members said Friday.

“I just want everybody to know how kind and selfless she was. She lived her entire life helping everyone else,” said Tabitha Goist, Carney’s niece.

Services took place this week to celebrate and remember Carney, 45, who was killed Monday in an apartment fire on Lockwood Boulevard. Officials said the fire appears to have been accidental, but the cause remains undetermined.

Carney wed Michael Carney in 2009. The two met at Beeghly Oaks where they both worked, he in maintenance and she as a nurse’s aide. Michael said he left their apartment at 7:30 a.m. Monday.

“It was a normal day until I got a call from an apartment manager about 8:15 a.m. about the fire. So then I came home, and there was a full blaze,” he said.

Michael asked firefighters and emergency workers whether anyone had been pulled out of the building. A paramedic told him that a woman had been taken to the hospital but didn’t know the woman’s name or where she had been taken. Michael found Shawna at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Boardman.

“Shawna was a wonderful person. She entered a room and livened it up with her smile. Once you were her friend, you were her friend forever. She had the bluest eyes,” Michael said.

Shawna raised Tabitha, 24, and her brother Larry Goist, 23. Tabitha said Shawna was 27 when she and her brother moved in with her.

“She was such a hard worker. I learned from her to put other people before myself and [learned from] her work ethic. My brother and I both look up to her so much,” Tabitha said.

Several years ago, Shawna was diagnosed with emphysema and left her job at Beeghly Oaks.

“It came on relatively quickly and she had a very, very hard time when she stopped working because it was inherently the opposite of what she had always done,” Tabitha said.

Hospice of the Valley helped care for Shawna, and her family has requested that memorial donations be made in Shawna’s name to that organization, 5190 Market St. in Boardman.

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