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.