Love Continues On

Phillip McFate

September 5, 1950 - April 3, 2014

Donor, Minnesota

Phillip was born in a small town in Mississippi and moved to Minnesota when we married on May 9, 1973. He originally worked on line boats that ran from New Orleans to St. Paul, MN. After our marriage he got a job with Capital Barge working boats in the St. Paul Harbor. He worked briefly in Winona, MN and St. Louis but returned to St. Paul in 1976 the year our second daughter was born. We were introduced to transplantation when Marisa was 11 and it was determined that she needed a liver transplant due to her diagnosis at birth of biliary atresia. She received her transplant at the University of Minnesota Hospital on May 1, 1988 with Dr. Payne as her transplant surgeon. Thirty years later she is living an amazing life thanks to her transplant. Find her story at Marisa Peterson.

Phillip was a towboat pilot on the Mississippi River for over 40 years and loved sharing his knowledge of the river to young and old alike.

After Marisa was transplanted Phillip served for a time on a parent board at the University of Minnesota through the Child Family Life Department. Phillip shared Marisa’s story over the years and had his license marked for organ donation should anything happen to him. When he was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 he made the decision to donate his body to the Anatomy Bequest Program at the University of MN because he wanted others to benefit from what could be learned from his body. Because of the cancer his corneas were the only part of his body that could be safely transplanted. He gave the gift of sight to two individuals. Hopefully they have been able to see the river he loved so much. He was a quiet man who worked hard, loved his family, and gave what he could in his death to help others.

Miss your hugs, Love you, Kate