Obituary: Joseph Carey, 70

When doctors diagnosed Joseph Carey with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in April of 2015, Joe joked to his family he contracted the disease from a lifetime spent supporting the New York Yankees. He maintained that sense of humor, wit and stoicism until his death, Sept. 13, 2017. Joe was 70.

Born in the Bronx to John and Martha Carey on Feb. 5, 1947, Joe graduated from Spring Valley High School in Spring Valley, N.Y. An Eagle Scout and standout track star, Joe set the school record in the 440-yard run, was the Rockland County champion in that distance and anchored the state runner-up relay team. During orientation week at the State University of New York at New Paltz, Joe fell in love with Laurel. They shared their first kiss under a covered bridge and later married, remaining together 35 years until Joe’s death.

After graduating college, Joe pursued a law degree at Albany Law School of Union University. During his first year of study, Joe was drafted into the U.S. Army and did a yearlong tour of duty in Vietnam. Joe later returned to Albany Law School, where he played on the rugby team and graduated in 1974.

Mr. Carey served as the chief assistant district attorney for Schenectady County, New York, from 1977 to 1981. As chief assistant, Joe supervised an office of prosecutors representing the People of the State of New York in the prosecution of all criminal cases in Schenectady County and tried numerous felony cases. Notably, he investigated and prosecuted serial killer Lemuel Smith and personally obtained his confession to five murders. In 1981, he was appointed assistant deputy attorney general with the New York State Organized Crime Task Force. While with the Organized Crime Task Force, he supervised and coordinated the work of investigators, accountants and intelligence analysts during the course of complex investigations of organized crime and official corruption. His team concentrated on the Long Island private carting industry run at the time by the Lucchese crime family. Mr. Carey secured a court order to place a listening device in a car chauffeured for family boss Tony “Ducks” Corallo. The evidence gathered during the course of his investigation was later used by United States Attorney Rudolph Giuliani to convict the heads of the five New York mob families, including Tony Ducks.

After leaving government service, Mr. Carey spent 10 years at the law firm of Bouck, Holloway, Kiernan & Casey in Albany, N.Y, where he developed an expertise in fire causation and investigation. After moving to Connecticut, Mr. Carey worked as a civil litigator at Robinson and Cole in Stamford and served as co-chair of the firm’s fire and explosion group. He was a principal member of the National Fire Protection Association’s Technical Committee on Fire Investigations, the committee responsible for NFPA 921, Guide for Fire Explosion Investigations, considered the gold standard of fire and explosion investigation.

Joe enjoyed traveling, hiking and the outdoors, including vacationing in St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Lake Nebo, N.Y. and Mohonk Preserve.

Joe was predeceased by John, Martha and his younger brother, Edward. He is survived by his wife, Laurel, his son, John Carey, daughter, Katherine King, son-in-law, Mac King and golden retriever Wellie, all of whom love him very much.

In lieu of flowers, please send a contribution to the Connecticut chapter of the ALS Association and pour yourself a dark and stormy.