Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - April 19, 2013

Deaths

Fred W. Carnes

On the morning of April 7, Fred W. Carnes died from complications from pneumonia in Carmel Valley, Calif. He was surrounded by his daughters and his wife of 71 years, Carolyn Carnes. He was 93 years old.

Carnes was the owner of Carnes Piano in Town and Country Village, which was open from 1955 to 2006.

He was born on March 24, 1920 in St. Cloud, Mich. to Blanche and Winfield Carnes. He was one of three brothers, the other two named Jack and Merk, and had one sister, Viola. They all preceded him in death. The Carnes family moved to Pocatello, Idaho in the 1920s and he attended College at the University of Idaho, where he met his wife, Carolyn Meloy. They were married around 1941. He was a World War II veteran and served the country from "Fort Ord" in Monterey, Calif. The Carnes Family was widely known in Idaho in the 1920's through 1955 as he and his family operated Carnes Music Company in Pocatello. He would, soon after the war, move to Idaho Falls to open his own music store, operated under the name of Carnes Music. During his time in Idaho Falls, he also operated the "Idaho Piano Exchange "on the Yellowstone Highway. In 1956, Fred sold his business to partner Owen Hammond and moved to Beaverton Oregon, then Palm Springs, Calif. and finally settled his family in Palo Alto, where he remained in business until he was 90 years old.

He operated stores in Palo Alto, San Leandro, San Francisco and San Jose. He had a complete shop in which he could rebuild pianos, as well as teach studio classes to make sure everyone who purchased a piano or organ had the chance to learn to play it properly. He closed his business in the California Avenue area in 2011. His son-in-law, Scott McBain, operates the only store left, in San Jose.

He also received many awards from piano manufacturers, as well as national music associations for all he did for the music industry. He was a member of the Elks Club on El Camino in Palo Alto for many years. He and his wife had homes in Palo Alto, Sun Valley, Idaho, and most recently, Carmel Valley, Calif. Fred and Carolyn had a summer home in Island Park, Idaho, which they have had since getting married.

He was a hunter and horseman in his younger years.

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn; son, Jeff Carnes (Cristina); daughters, Claudia (John McCotter) and Tani (Scott McBain); grandchildren, Nick, Chris, Britni, Kati, Dylan, Kellen, Lindsay McBain and Kristi McBain; great-great grandsons, Otis and Clive; and many nieces and nephews.

The family will hold private services at a later date in Idaho.

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