A GoFundMe page has been set up to cover the funeral costs for a Memorial High School graduate/West New York native who died this week from complications related to COVID-19.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“The woman who ALWAYS smiled! Our Alexis, just 34, earned her angel wings on March 22nd as she was taken from us way too soon due to complications from COVID-19,” the GoFundMe page description says.
“Alexis, a sister, a girlfriend, a friend, a cousin, a niece, an auntie, and co-worker leaves behind her younger sister Genesis and her older brother Ricky. On behalf of Genesis, we are asking for your help to cover some immediate unforeseen expenses!”
As of 10:00 a.m. this morning, the page had shattered its $5,000 goal, amassing 148 donations for a total of $8,390.
Alexis Demby, a class of 2004 graduate of Memorial, was a standout basketball player who continued her career on the court at Caldwell College.
According to veteran Hudson County sports writer Jim Hague, Demby had been living in Georgia and had contracted the coronavirus when she traveled back to West New York to visit family.
“She came up a couple of weeks ago and was ready to go home,” her former coach, Craig Kuzirian, said in an interview on Hague’s blog.
“And then she got sick and passed. Her mother passed about three years ago. It’s a terrible thing. Her mother used to come to all the games and got to know everybody.”
The Memorial High School Alumni Association acknowledged Demby’s passing earlier this week on their Facebook page.
“It is with a heavy heart We announce the passing of Class of 2004’s Alexis Demby. Sadly, Alexis succumbed to the Covid 19 [sic] virus. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with the Demby family. Rest peacefully Alexis, fly with the Angels💔🙏”
The post garnered hundreds of reactions, comments, and shares, with many offering their condolences by paying tribute to the good times they had with Demby.
“My dearest Alexis Demby, you made my early years in school bearable. Thank you for always being so kind and pushing me to strive for better,” wrote Iris Espinosa.
“You mean the world to me and saved me more times than you know. You deserved better. The world has lost a bright light. I love you, Lex. Watch over us. RIP my dear friend.”
In a statement this afternoon, Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez offered comfort to Demby’s friends and families during this difficult time.
“We offer our heartfelt condolences to the entire Demby family and everyone who knew Alexis from her days growing up in West New York, as a Peer Leader and an athletic standout at Memorial High School,” he said.
“Even though she no longer resided in West New York, she was one of ours. Her death is a sobering reminder that COVID-19 doesn’t only affect the elderly. We implore our residents to stay home as much as possible and to continue practicing social distancing.”
The New Jersey Department of Health has announced four Hudson County deaths related to the coronavirus, including two yesterday, as the state’s total number of cases has swelled to 3,675 – the second in the country overall behind New York – with 44 deaths.
Since Demby lived in Georgia at the time of her passing, she is not included in those statistics.
According to CNN, Georgia has 1,097 coronavirus cases, along with 38 deaths, as of last night.
Editor’s note: This story was updated with a statement from Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez.