Fundraising Page Set up for Children After Sudden Death of Their Father – Please Help if you can.

February 28, 2019

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

It is unimaginable.

Losing your dad when you’re just a little kid. Losing your companion in your arms. Losing so much. It’s unfair and heartbreaking.

The death of Joseph Murphy has left two small children without their father. It’s also left his family working to have something positive come out of something so devastating as they issue health warnings to others.

Joseph Murphy died from a suspected pulmonary embolism. Sadly, it’s not the first time we’ve written about this.

A few years ago, we wrote about Paul Englert who died at just 19-years-old from a pulmonary embolism. His family has worked tirelessly over the years to bring attention to what took their son.  The strength and inspiration Paul’s family has shown over the years is remarkable.

Paul Englert passed away in 2013 from a Pulmonary Embolism

Much like Joseph Murphy’s family is now. His companion, Channel Two News Anchor, MaryAlice Demler is obviously heartbroken – but still finding strength to help others and to help Murphy’s two young children.

A Gofundme has been set up to help the 6 and 8 year olds. MaryAlice hopes folks will donate and share the story.

Here is what is written on the fundraising page:


“Joseph Raymond Murphy loved life! He loved people, loved to have fun and was a caring and compassionate father to his precious son and daughter, Finnegan (8) and Ella (6).

When Joe died unexpectedly at the age of 40, it was without a substantial life insurance policy due to his 20 year battle with Crohn’s Disease– a “pre-existing condition.”

Joe was an advocate for values-based education and it was his plan to have Finnegan and Ella attend a Catholic Prep High School and college. That’s what this GoFundMe account has been set-up to accomplish.

A foundation board is being established to guide Finnegan and Ella’s educational career to include not only tuition but other enriching educational experiences like science and art summer camps, study abroad experiences and special instruction or tutoring, if necessary.

Joe knew and touched so many people. From his hometown Liverpool, NY on various competitive swim teams, to his beloved St. Bonaventure University. Joe was a scholarship swimmer there and a member of the 1999 Atlantic 10 Championship team, and an All American.

He had a special charism and sincerity that made everyone feel like they were singularly the most important person to him. That is a rare quality few people possess, but Joe really did care about people!

Aside from his family, Joe had a successful career in banking, most recently at Key Bank in Buffalo, NY as a Relationship Manager Vice President. He also donated his time to several not-for-profit organizations as a volunteer board member: Camp Good Days, Peaceprints of WNY and the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.

Donations in any amount are greatly appreciated.”

We are heartbroken for MaryAlice – who I’ve known for 25 years. I can’t even imagine her pain. But, I also know how strong she is – and I know that by sharing this story – she will find courage and strength as she helps others along the way.

Please help these young children if you can – they’ve lost so much. HERE IS A LINK TO THE GOFUNDME.

Thank you.


More on Paul Englert’s story.

Remembering their son, helping others, and making a difference in the world.



About Me

Welcome to Totally Buffalo! My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! After spending 20 years in the Buffalo media, I moved on to focus on my beautiful family. Now, the time has come for a new project. I was ready for something new. Something mine.
I am born and raised in WNY and my pride runs deep. My husband, Scott and I are very happy to be raising our four daughters here.






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