SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Roberta Drury, a 32-year-old woman who was the youngest of the 10 Black people killed at a Buffalo supermarket, was remembered at her funeral Saturday for her love for family and friends, tenacity “and most of 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 tend to her brother in his fight against leukemia. The white gunman shot her to death while she was trying to purchase groceries at Tops Friendly Market.
“There are no words to fully express the depth and breadth of this tragedy,” Friar Nicholas Spano, parochial vicar of Assumption Church in Syracuse, said during the service. This brick-built church stands just a few kilometers from Cicero, where Drury was born.
“Last Saturday, May 14, our corner of the world was changed forever,” he said. “Lives ended. Dreams shattered and our state was plunged into mourning.”
Drury’s family wrote in her obituary that she “couldn’t walk a few steps without meeting a new friend.”
“Robbie always made a big deal about someone when she saw them, always making sure they felt noticed and loved,” her sister, Amanda, told The Associated Press by text before the service.
Amanda Drury stated that the family requested donations to Buffalo Zoo because the sister enjoyed going there.
“She was that light that shone through whatever darkness might have been present,” Spano said. He said mourners would remember Drury’s “kindness … love for family and friends, her perseverance, her tenacity, and most of all, that smile that could light up a room.”
Drury is second to be eulogized.
Heyward Patterson was a beloved deacon in a nearby church. A private funeral took place Friday. Over the next week, there were more funerals.
Tops encouraged people to gather in its shops for a moment to remember the victims of Saturday’s shooting attack at 2:30 pm, which was exactly one week ago. Mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown called for 123 secs of silence between 2:28 p.m. and 2:31 p.m. followed by 13 ringing of the church bells throughout the city in honor of the three victims.
In the evening, a candlelight vigil was held at Buffalo’s supermarket.
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