At her funeral, a 32-year-old lady was remembered for her love of family and friends and a “smile that could light up a room.” She was the youngest of the ten Black individuals killed at a Buffalo grocery.
Roberta Drury’s cousin Enrique Owens wears a t-shirt with her photo on it before her funeral service on Saturday, May 21, 2022, in Syracuse, New York. Drury was one of ten people killed in a mass shooting at a Buffalo grocery last week. (Lauren Petracca/AP Photo)
Roberta Drury, 32, was remembered during her funeral Saturday for her love for family and friends, perseverance, and “most of all, that grin that could light up a room.” She was the youngest of the ten Black people massacred at a Buffalo grocery.
“Robbie,” as she was known, was born and raised in Syracuse before moving to Buffalo a decade ago to assist her brother in his battle with leukaemia. She was killed by a white shooter while shopping for groceries at the Tops Friendly Market on May 14.
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During the ceremony, Friar Nicholas Spano, parish vicar of Assumption Church in Syracuse, observed, “There are no words to fully explain the depth and breadth of this sorrow.” Drury grew up in Cicero, not far from the magnificent brick church.
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“Our corner of the globe was permanently transformed last Saturday, May 14,” he stated. “Lives were lost. Dreams were crushed, and our state was mourned.”
“She couldn’t walk a few steps without meeting a new friend,” her relatives stated in her obituary.
“Whenever Robbie saw someone, she always made a huge deal out of it, making sure they felt acknowledged and loved,” her sister, Amanda, told The Associated Press via text before the funeral.
Amanda Drury said the family requested that donations be directed to the Buffalo Zoo, which the sisters liked walking through.
Spano described her as “that light that shone through whatever darkness was present.” Drury’s “kindness… love for family and friends, her perseverance, her tenacity, and most importantly, that grin that could light up a room,” he said, would be remembered by mourners.
Drury is the second shooting victim to receive a memorial service.
Heyward Patterson, a popular deacon at a church near the supermarket, was honoured with a private service on Friday. More funerals were planned for the following week.
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Tops was urging customers to join them in a minute of quiet for the shooting victims on Saturday at 2:30 p.m., the time of the assault a week ago. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has called for a 123-second moment of silence from 2:28 to 2:31 p.m., followed by the ringing of church bells 13 times throughout the city to memorialise the ten persons murdered and three others injured.
In the evening, a candlelight vigil was planned at the Buffalo store.