The gift of life

LEADER HERALD | Ashley Onyon
Salvatore Casale , Rich's sister, Carolyn, and Rich sitting on their porch in Johnstown. (Photo courtesy of Salvatore Casale)

LOVERSVILLE — A former area resident known for his big heart helped saved five lives, including that of his childhood best friend, through an organ donation of his heart, lungs and kidneys.

Rich Carley Jr. who grew up in Johnstown, later moving to Charleston, S.C. died at age 37 on March 15.

In the hours and days following his death, Carley’s family arranged to have his organs donated, organizing a direct donation of one of his kidneys to his childhood best friend, Sal Casale.

“We were inseparable when we were children, as fate would have it we’re going to be inseparable for the rest of my life,” Casale said Wednesday.

The Casale and Carley families lived across the street from one another in Johnstown, with respective matriarchs Linda Cecconi and Mirella Casale forming a strong friendship before their sons were born. After the boys came along they were constantly together whether through little league, sleepovers or school.

After graduating from Johnstown High School in 1998, Carley attended Northeastern University in Boston where he majored in music. Carley lived and worked in Boston for several years where he met his business partner, Scott Shor.

The pair moved to South Carolina where they opened three successful craft beer businesses; the Charleston Beer Exchange, Edmund’s Oast Exchange and the Greenville Beer Exchange. He married his wife, Caleigh, in 2015. Continue Reading


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“Sal and he were friends from diapers on up. They were best friends growing up, they played together at home or at Casale’s across the street, laughing, fooling around and getting into mischief,” Cecconi said Wednesday. “They were the dynamic duo.”