In the Spirit of Excelsior!

I am a big believer in personal excellence. I preach it to my kids every day. It means doing our daily best and striving to be our best person at all times. Taking time to work hard and strive to reach the heights that we were all created to reach. It doesn’t necessarily mean straight A’s in school or tallied wins on our sports teams. It is much deeper than that.

I wasn’t very familiar with the latin term excelsior until Friday night. Excelsior is a Latin adjective meaning “higher” or “loftier”, with a poetic meaning of “ever upward”. The speaker at Keith’s High School Hall of Fame induction ceremony used the word over and over until it felt familiar. Excelsior embodies the motto of Keith’s alma mater at Mount St. Charles Academy in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. After listening to the President’s inspiring words, I only wish I would’ve been a part of that community!


How great that our kids and all of Keith’s nieces and nephews could be there to share these honors!

We spent last week in Keith’s hometown, with all of his family, to attend two different Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for him. The first one being the Rhode Island Interscholastic Hall of Fame followed a couple days later by his high school Hall of Fame presentation. Keith’s high school principal and athletic director both came up to me to reminisce how Keith was always so kind and courteous and that they were always impressed with his character at 17 years old.

Absolutely my husband has admirable hockey accolades, but the thing that has always impressed me from the day I met him is his gentle, humble character. I watched Keith always greet and hold conversations with the cleaning crew and behind the scenes staff at the United Center after his games with the Blackhawks. The guys who parked his car at the arenas and cleaned up his locker stall were his friends. He would even give rides to the homeless guy waiting for him after practice.

Yes, Keith played in more than 1,000 games in his 17 year NHL career. Before that he was a standout defenseman at his high school and the University of Maine, as well as an Olympian. But, how awesome that when people spoke of him this week, they spoke of who he was as a person and how that impressed them more. I know it made me proud and made me want to continue to do my best to instill the spirit of excelsior in our children. This is what will truly sustain them in life and set them apart like their father.

Commit to excellence and you will bring excellence to the world around you. Congratulations to Keith and all who were inducted into these Hall of Fames alongside him!

Carney Family

All of the Carney crew together to celebrate Keith’s induction into the RIIL Hall of Fame!

4 replies
  1. Steve
    Steve says:

    Congrats to him! Just to add a point to this… he treated us interns like equals as well and I cannot be thankful enough for that. I learned some valuable life lessons from him that no one no matter what “title” someone has does not mean that individual is less of a person than others. Please send him my best!

  2. Janese Pitcher
    Janese Pitcher says:

    Back in the day when I was the nanny to those awesome 4 kids, fans would always ask me if Keith was as nice as he seemed to be in public? I always told them ‘yes, he is that nice, an awesome person, very humble, and a great dad”. He would often sneak into the triplet’s room late at night after a road trip or game to kiss each baby while they slept! Your kids are so lucky to have you both as parents, very inspirational!


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