The youngest victim in the massacre at Buffalo’s Tops Friendly Market was remembered Saturday for her “love and compassion.”
Mourners gathered at the Assumption Church in Syracuse to say good-bye to Roberta Drury, 32, who was slaughtered last week along with nine others in what authorities said was a racially-motivated attack allegedly carried out by Payton Gendron, 18, of Conklin, NY.
“Last Saturday, May the 14, our corner of the world was changed forever. Lives ended. Dreams shattered and our state was plunged into mourning,” said Friar Nicholas Spano during the funeral mass.
Drury was raised in the Syracuse area and moved to Buffalo 10 years ago look after her brother who was recovering from leukemia.
“Roberta reflected God’s love every time she cared for her brother, every time she greeted someone in her neighborhood or on her street. Every time she talked with friends and family,” he said. “She was that light that shone through whatever darkness that might have been present.”
He said Drury had “a perseverance and a tenacity that was both inspirational and enviable.”
After the service, Drury’s sister, Amanda Drury, said “Robbie was more than just a name.”
“We just want to make sure that everyone remembers her smile, her love, her compassion,” she said. “If everyone could treat everyone with a little more love and compassion, we wouldn’t have instances like this.”
Katherine Melnicki, a friend, called her a “special person. Unique.”
“Even though our day could be going to hell, that girl always put a smile on my face. Always,” she said.
The funeral was the second for a victim of the Buffalo shooting. Heyward Patterson, 67, was laid to rest Friday.