Margaret Karnes, 92: Civic Recognition award recipient, raced stock cars

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PORTLAND – Margaret “Maggie” Elizabeth (Bridges) Karnes, 92, of Portland, passed away Oct. 3, at the Freeport Nursing & Rehabilitation Center after a long illness.

Karnes was born in Portland Oct. 26, 1922, to Ahira and Theresa (McConnell) Bridges. She grew up in the Nason’s Corner neighborhood of Portland, where she attended Deering High School, graduating in 1941. After marrying Hilmon “Joe” L. Karnes on April 17, 1942, the couple moved to Falmouth, where they lived for several years. They spent their early married life racing stock cars at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, where Karnes drove in the Powder Puff Derby.

Karnes worked for many years at Loring, Short & Harmon, and then as a secretary to the principal at Falmouth Middle School, but she was first and foremost a homemaker. Friday nights were dedicated to bowling, and her league took home many trophies. Karnes was also an avid golfer; both she and her husband were longtime members of the Freeport Country Club, winning several local and statewide tournaments.

Karnes was recognized with Portland’s Civic Recognition Award for her acts of compassion and kindness. She always gave of herself, and truly felt that was her purpose in life, whether nursing a sick relative, volunteering at school functions, or raising funds for any number of causes. Her most recent endeavor was knitting hats for the nursing home gift shop. She was a charter member of Women of the Moose, South Portland Chapter No. 1310, and an active member of the Glenwood Square Baptist Church.

Karnes was predeceased by Joe Karnes, her husband of 61 years.

She is survived by a daughter, Kathy J. Wolf, of Boynton Beach, Florida; a son, Kevin M. Karnes, and his wife, Susan, of Durham; six grandchildren, Sherri M. Lemon, Jaime A. Jimino, Kelly M. Karnes, Jessica M. Ross, Morgan M. Karnes, and Bailey J. Karnes; five great-grandchildren, Victoria, Joshua, Jake, Olivia and Calliope; and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held Oct. 9, at Lindquist Funeral Home in Yarmouth, followed by burial in Calvary Cemetery in South Portland.

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the staff at Freeport Nursing & Rehabilitation Center and Southern Maine Hospice. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Animal Refuge League, PO Box 336, Westbrook, ME 04098.