Mary Elsie Wilkin (1899 - 1999)


Clarence Carnohan (1898 - 1935)


I'm going to apologize right up front. As much as her name is Mary, in my mind she will always be Mame. Mame was my great-aunt and she was one of those people who I will never forget. She was a wonderful woman, full of spunk and humor and always laughing. She was pretty darn special!

Mame was born on May 8, 1899 in North Adams, Mass. I'm not sure how she and Clarence met. He was the son of David Carnohan and Mary Agnus Weir, immigrants from Northern Ireland. They were married May 19, 1921 in North Adams, MA.

This picture was taken on their wedding day. That's Clarence on the left, then Mame. The best man is Clarance's brother Robert Gillispie "Bert" Carnohan, and then Mame's Maid of Honor - my grandmother - Grace Mae Wilkin, who would have been about 17 at the time.

In her early years, Mame was a nurse. The picture at the top of this page is from her graduation from nursing school. In those days, she lived in a small farm village in upstate New York called Greenwich, which is where Clarence was from. As best as I can tell, Clarence held a number of jobs through the 20's and early 1930's. he was a mechanic at his father's garage on Washington Square in Greenwich; he also worked for the Greenwich division of what was then New York Power and Light. he apparently left that job at some point in the 1920's and moved to Oneonta, New York. He still called Greenwich home at that point, but it's not clear if Mame went with him. In fact, it appears that she closed up their apartment one summer and went to live with an aunt in western Massachusetts. In the mid-1920's Clarence had moved to Glens Falls, NY. By 1932, he was driving a bus between Glens Falls and New York City. and later was working a route between New York and Montreal.

Here is a picture of Clarence as a 'youngun'. There's a reference in a July 1915 edition of "The Salem Press" that indicates Clarence, who would have been about 17 at the time, had a motorcycle accident of some sort and got a bit bruised up, but apparently it was nothing terribly serious.

Clarence served in World War One, although it appears he never went overseas. Some time ago, I came across this photo of him in his Army uniform. And just recently, I discovered some of his military records. He was a private in the 210th Engineers for less than a year. He enlisted on June 4, 1918 at Fort Slocum, NY and was honourably discharged at Camp A.A. Humphreys in Virginia in March, 1919.

Clarence died in 1935 after a short battle with pneumonia. He was initially buried at the Pineview Cemetery in Queensbury, NY. Later, his parents would be buried there are well, but by then, Clarence was gone. In October of 1936, his remains were removed from the cemetery and sent to North Adams, MA to be re-interred, presumably so that he could be closer to Mame. I have two copies of Clarence's obituary. Here is a short version of his obituary. And, thanks to a rather distant relative who I've enjoyed sharing Carnohan and Weir information with, here is a longer version of his obituary. Thanks Stephanie!

After Clarence died, Mame moved back to North Adams, MA, into the first floor of a double decker on Charles Street. Her sister Gladys lived on the second floor. 44 Charles Street was the center of life for Wilkins and Pozzis for decades - long before I was born!! Easters..Thanksgivings were all spent in North Adams. Wonderful memories!!! In the 60's and 70's, things were a bit more old-fashioned than they are today. Everyone sat down to huge meals - and yes, I had to sit at the "Kids" table. When dinner was done, the women set about cleaning up the dishes while the men all retired upstairs to Gladys place to watch football. Probably wouldn't fly today, but this website isn't about today's standards....it's about what was!!

Mame, her sister Gladys, and my grandmother Grace (Wilkin) Pozzi were all sisters. And they all loved to laugh. Here are some pictures of Mame laughing. It's how I remember her best!!!


Late in her life, when she could no longer stay by herself, my folks moved her into a small house down the street in Greenwich so they could keep an eye on her. When that was no longer feasible, she moved to an assisted living facility in Cambridge, NY. She lived to be 100 years old, and came within a few months of living in three centuries. Here is a picture of Mame at her 100th birthday party with her niece Patricia (Pozzi) Mason.

By late in her life, she had developed a bit of a memory loss. I remember her saying that she wanted to live to be 100, as long as she didn't lose her mind. Someone said to her, "but Mame, if you lost your mind, how would you know?" She laughed and laughed over that...but her mind was pretty much gone at that point.

I miss her...as I do many of my relatives who have passed. She was a sweetheart!

Mary and Clarence never had any children.

This is where the Wilkin and Carnohan lines come together. As Mame and Clarence had no children there is no going 'forward' from here to the next generation. If you'd like to go back to the Home page, hit the Home button. Otherwise, you can step back a generation with whichever surname interests you.


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