Throughout most of his life, Paul was better known as “P.R.”, “Whitey” (due to his very light blonde hair – looking almost white), and “Skeet”. (A nickname from his wife Evelyn)
He met and married V. Evelyn Brewer in Indiana – they had five children – Nicholas, Paul Jr., Ronnie, Virginia, and Anthony. Paul Jr. and Virginia died within hours of birth.
In his early years, Whitey was a lightweight boxer and won the Golden Gloves boxing award several times. In 1939 Whitey opened one of his many legacies, Karnes Sweeper Company, a family owned and operated business that sells and repairs vacuums. (It is still in business today) He also opened, owned and operated several more businesses which included gas stations, farmland, a ranch, restaurants, and classic cars.
At one time, Whitey owned the largest Ford Edsel collection in the world. It was called the “Forest of Edsels”. He and his middle Ronnie rebuilt several of them over several years.
Whitey always made sure that his family was taken care of. Even through his own business – his siblings lived across the United States and he set them up with vacuum sales businesses so they would have a means of income.
P.R. “Whitey” Karnes was truly a remarkable man.