Please remember in your prayers Dr. Dan Carey. The well-known member of the University of St. Thomas Health and Human Performance faculty died at age 61 early Saturday morning, March 19, following a year of treatment for brain cancer.
Carey died peacefully at Regions Hospital in St. Paul with his sisters, Jan and Lynn, at his side.
A funeral Mass for Carey will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 23, in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas on the university’s St. Paul campus. Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 22, at the Willwerscheid Funeral Home, 1167 Grand Ave., St. Paul, and also at St. Thomas one hour before the funeral.
Carey was in a car accident in February 2010 and a CT scan to check for injuries revealed he was suffering from a malignant brain tumor. The university community followed his progress over the past year via his “Caring Bridge” website and thank-you notes he published in Bulletin Today.
“I think the reason I am doing well is the great support system I have both at UST and at home with family and friends,” he wrote in November. He noted that he was about “to become the first human to get a drug made specifically for glioblastoma cells. This treatment will probably begin about a month after my surgery (early December). I am excited about this. My doctor has said that not only is this the best treatment for me, but I am being a pioneer, which will be beneficial for others down the road.”
Carey was throwing 90-mile-per-hour fast balls as a left-handed high school pitcher for Hastings in 1967; the New York Mets selected him 24th overall in that year’s major-league baseball amateur draft.
After a six-year minor league career with the Mets, he studied at the University of Minnesota and worked as an exercise physiologist with cardiac patients. He joined the St. Thomas Health and Human Performance Department in 1988 and received his doctorate in kinesiology in 1996.
Carey taught courses here in physiology, exercise physiology, measurement and evaluation, and health promotion.
He developed methods and equipment to conduct physiological testing for oxygen consumption, anaerobic power and – with the help of an underwater scale – the percent of body fat. He also conducted research for Breathe Right and Nordic Track products.
Carey was an advocate of encouraging sensible, lifelong weight control and exercise. At St. Thomas, he was involved with exercise programs, such as “Healthy U,” that have been promoted by Human Resources and the Wellness Center. As reported in a 2004 St. Thomas magazine article, his senior students were serving internships as personal trainers for approximately 1,200 faculty and staff.
Carey, who weighed 230 as a pitcher but dropped to 175 as a professor, had the nickname “Moose.” Last May, a “Moose Mile Fun Run” was held at St. Thomas to honor him and support one of his favorite charities, Kids n’ Kinship.
In a story that appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press last June, sports columnist Charley Walters wrote, “I have known Dan Carey since his minor league pitching days. You’ll never meet a finer person. He has handled his challenge with grace and fortitude.”