Roberta Drury, a 32-year-old woman who was the youngest of 10 black people killed in a Buffalo supermarket, was remembered at her funeral Saturday for her love of family and friends, tenacity “and above all, that smile that could light up a room.”
“Robbie,” as she was called, grew up in the Syracuse area and moved to Buffalo a decade ago to help care for her brother as he battled leukemia. She was shot and killed on May 14 on a grocery shopping trip at the Tops Friendly Market, targeted by the white gunman.
“There are no words to fully express the depth and breadth of this tragedy,” Fr. Nicholas Spano, parochial vicar of Church of the Assumption in Syracuse, said during the service. The stately brick church is not far from where Drury grew up in Cicero.
“Last Saturday, May 14, our corner of the world changed forever,” he said. “Lives are over. Dreams were shattered and our state was plunged into grief.”
Drury’s family wrote in her obituary that she “couldn’t take a few steps without meeting a new friend.”
“Robbie would always make a big deal out of someone when he saw them, always making sure they felt noticed and loved,” his sister, Amanda, told The Associated Press by text message before the service.
The family asked that donations be made to the Buffalo Zoo, a place the sisters enjoyed walking, Amanda Drury said.
“She was that light that shone through any darkness that might have been present,” Spano said. He said mourners would remember Drury’s “kindness … love for family and friends, his perseverance, his tenacity and, most of all, that smile that could light up a room.”
Drury is the second shooting victim to be commended.
A private service for Heyward Patterson, the beloved deacon, was held at a church near the supermarket on Friday. More funerals were scheduled for the next week.
Tops encouraged people to join their stores in a moment of silence to honor the victims of the shooting Saturday at 2:30 p.m., the approximate time of the attack a week earlier. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown also called for 123 seconds of silence from 2:28 p.m. to 2:31 p.m., followed by the ringing of church bells 13 times throughout the city to honor the 10 people killed. and three wounds.
A candlelight vigil was planned at the Buffalo Supermarket for the evening.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.