Family man’s funeral won’t be a burden thanks to anonymous donor

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - One week ago Fox 4 reported on the aftermath of a car crash at 42nd and Prospect that killed 31-year-old Vinod Shirley. Police say he lost control of his car,  hit a utility pole, cutting it in half, then ripped through a chain link fence before stopping in a yard.

His wife and family were left trying to figure out how to pay for his funeral, until an anonymous source took care of the bill.

"He was a good father , a good friend, I know he had a whole bunch of friends," said Maria Shirley.

Standing in the spot where her husband took his final breaths, Maria was overcome with grief. The father of her children was gone in an instant.

"He took care of me for a lot of years, and his kids," Shirley said.

Last Wednesday, Vinod was driving on Prospect, and ran into a pole and a fence at 42nd and Prospect. His sister, Keena Tolefree, says earlier that day he'd identified the body of his deceased mother, who had died in her home of natural causes.

She knows he wasn't perfect, but she says her brother was a loving family man.

"Loved his family, his wife and his children," Tolefree said. "His smile, his smile. He was a funny guy."

Left without his smile, Shirley's family was left with a big price tag for his funeral and burial, and they were $885 short of being able to pay it. Maria didn't know how to get that money together.

"Someone helped that family not to have to deal with the payment afterwards, or trying to put together that payment," said Angela Harvey at Golden Gate Funeral Chapel.

Harvey says sometimes someone in the community will step forward, this time it was an anonymous donor.

"We are so thankful. We are really thankful," said Tolefree.

Shirley's family says they're overwhelmed by the generosity. Leaving more energy and money for his family to focus on what Vinod always instilled in his children, the importance of a good education.

"Education was important to him. He got them enrolled at a very good school here, University Academy, he was very proud of that. I know they're going to get a good education. That was number one with him," said Maria.