My Mom, Jenny Carr, is one of the main reasons I am biking across America. She was born on July 31, 1957 and was one of the most positive and supportive people I have ever known.
She passed away on February 25, 2017 at age 59 after a 15 month battle with Glioblastoma Multiforme brain cancer. Jenny was originally from Delhi on Cincinnati’s west side. She graduated from Seton High School, received her undergraduate degree from Edgecliff College and her Masters of Education from Xavier University.
Jenny's talents and gifts were many, but perhaps her greatest was her kindness and compassion for others. She was known as “Mrs. Carr” to most and was every child's favorite preschool and kindergarten teacher at The Seven Hills School for more than 30 years. Beyond teaching, Jenny had a passion for learning and a love of life which led her to travel the world.
She will be remembered for her love, laughter and her sunshine smile that brightened the day of everyone she met. Jenny felt truly blessed by the opportunities and friends in her life. Instead of seeing the glass as only half-full, she truly saw it as overflowing and her positive attitude brought so much joy and happiness into the world.
In her final 15 months after being diagnosed with a GBM tumor Jenny took the time to do… so many things that she loved. She never wasted a moment and became intentional with the time that she had left on earth. She spent time with family and friends, traveled to Florida, and Switzerland, celebrated two Christmas and Easters and so many birthdays.
She would tell you that time is a gift and life is really about the people we share this journey with. I hope you will join our “Let’s take the time to…” movement and take time out of your busy day/week/month to do the things that bring you happiness. Make sure you share it with others.
Jim Zona is a part of my Pittsburgh family… the connection is a little bit confusing and bear with me as I try to explain my connection to Jim. He was my brother’s father-in-law, but his family has become so much closer to me than just my brother's in-laws and his wife Sue was so positive and helpful with my father during my mom, Jenny Carr’s treatment for GBM.
Jim was truly one-of-a-kind. He was gregarious and loving. He made friends anywhere he went. Jim was passionate about his work, his family and enjoyed snow skiing, fishing and traveling.
I remember one of the first trips we took to Pittsburgh after my brother Casey and my sister-in-law Angela had gotten married. Jim took us on a tour of his business, Pittsburgh Plastics Manufacturing, Inc. My grandfather who was with us at the time was amazed by what Jim had created. Jim was a self-made entrepreneur who had come a long way from his business started in 1977. Originally he set out with a goal of creating a way for people to “walk on water” so he developed and manufactured water filled insoles. Jim was a leader in developing what are now known as gel insoles. Jim’s company started with a small storefront in Avalon and he built it into a global leader in custom cushioning solutions and employs more than 100 people at its Butler plant with offices in United Kingdom and China.
Jim was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme in February 2008 and his treatments included surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Jim fought cancer the same tenacious approach he used to build his business. He changed his diet and religiously followed his treatment plan, but unfortunately, the GBM prevailed. Jim, died on October 15, 2009 he was 55 years old and battled cancer for 20 months.