About Dave and Patty


David J. Roberts, LMSW, became a parent who experienced the death of a child, when his daughter Jeannine died of cancer on March 1, 2013, at the age of 18. He is a retired addiction professional and an adjunct professor in the psychology and psychology child-life departments at Utica University in Utica, New York. He also teaches a General Psychology course at Pratt School of Art.

Dave has been a past HuffPost contributor and has also published articles with the Open to Hope Foundation, Recovering the Self Journal, Mindfulness and Grief, and Thrive Global. He is currently a regular contributor to Medium. Dave has also done numerous grief workshops at the national, local and regional levels . He has also been a guest on several podcasts discussing many aspects of grief and transformation after tragedy.

In his 66th year of life, Dave realizes that there is a privilege in growing older, and that life itself is a voyage with equal parts of shadow and light, which defines the totality of who we are.

Dave is a certified cat person. He lives in Upstate New York with his wife of 38 years Cheri and their cat Zoey. He is the proud father of two wonderful sons Dan and Matt who walk their life paths with honor and integrity. Dave is also a proud grandfather.


“Dave Roberts is a magnificent blend of exceptional teacher and compassionate speaker. He teaches with an excellent awareness of current knowledge, heart-centered love, and a wonderful devotion to his students and readers. Dave is a tireless worker with a unique ability to lead divergent groups of people into a cohesive mindful acknowledgment of the immense spiritual nature of our existence. Dave has a marvelous skill of transferring his concepts into easily understood, clearly written passages of thoughtful eloquence. Love surrounds Dave Roberts, encompassing all that partake of his wisdom in a glorious spiral of everlasting life.”

Rebecca Austill-Clausen, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA Author of Change Maker: How My Brother’s Death Woke Up My Life.

“I’ve met a lot of people in my travels, many walks of life. I’ve also learned that finding the “real deal” is rarity. Dave is realistic, in the moment, salt of the earth. He utilizes past experiences to guide his present moment to help others into productive futures.” 

Kris Munsch- Assistant Professor of Applied Technology, Fort Hayes State University

“As a result of the challenges presented due to the death of his daughter Jeannine, Dave has found meaning by compassionately helping individuals and families work through “their grief” following catastrophic loss. As a contributing author for The Open to Hope Foundation since 2009, Dave has contributed many quality articles on various aspects of the grief experience. Dave is a dynamic workshop presenter who has the ability to inspire individuals who have experienced life altering loss.”

Dr. Heidi Horsley, Assistant Professor, Columbia University

Executive Director, Open to Hope Foundation

Cable T.V. and Radio Host: The Open to Hope Show

Rev. Patty Furino has chosen to walk a sacred path following the example of Wise Teachers from many disciplines. From as far back as she can remember she has always had conversations with her “wise friends on the other side.” It was the private relationship she had with those wise Spirits that helped her stay positive and optimistic amidst the drama in her childhood home. She would sit on swings in her backyard for hours mentally conversing with Jesus, Native Elders and “ bald headed men wearing robes” learning about compassion, kindness and embracing the highest level of thought. When she was 16 years old she had a near-death experience which shifted her perspective offering her an expanded level of thought.

In 1998, after attending a two year program at the New Seminary in New York City, Patty was ordained an Interfaith Minister at St. John the Divine Cathedral. She made a vow to walk the path with honor and integrity choosing to follow the motto of St. Francis, “Make me an Instrument of Peace.”  She is committed to empower others to discover and develop their own unique life path and find peace on this earth.  Patty believes it takes many lifetimes to learn all there is about Our Divine Source,  so she walks her life simply, using her connection to find clarity

Patty met her husband Marco in 1981 and you only hear her speak of him with great love and admiration. They moved from that corner house on Long Island in January 2020, choosing to create new adventures in South Carolina. Her daughter Kim, and son in law Mike, along with their dog Buckley, live on Long Island. Patty and Marco love spending time with them, creating special memories together.

Now in her 60th year of life, she realizes that she feels she showed up in people’s lives “for a reason and a season.” Patty feels her life has been a great adventure because of her faith and devotion to her calling. She feels that is the greatest honor to be told someone experienced a shift in their perspective because she crossed their path.   


Dear Pat,

The emergency humanitarian assistance work of the American Red Cross is carried out by individuals such as yourself who selflessly give your time and talents. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to the mission of the American Red Cross. Your individual response to Superstorm Sandy was instrumental to the overall success Of the relief operation. Thank you for sharing with us two precious gifts – your time and your compassion for others.

You are the American Red Cross. As a disaster responder, you display the selflessness and dedication to humanity that enables us to continue the timeless commitment of this organization. We value your work and it is with deep appreciation that we say thank you.


The Government Operations Team

American Red Cross

Dear Patty,

Thank you for sharing a moving film and discussion with our students on April 28th. You really helped our students understand mental illness in terms of family reverberations over time. You also helped them see that healing and better understanding may occur at any time over our lifespans.

Thank you for your warmth, openness and encouragement toward our students.

Denise Nepveux

Utica College Occupational Therapy Professor

Just wanted to say thanks again for coming back to Bideawee and being at our Pet Memorial day ceremony.  I heard from a couple of people that this was the best ceremony yet and you played a big part in it. 

Ray Cushmore

Chief Operating Officer and VP Finance and Administration