Buffalo Mourns ‘Star in the Midst of Turmoil’ Killed in Racist Attack - The New York Times
May 21, 2022 1 min, 48 secs
Heyward Patterson, a 67-year-old church deacon whose life revolved around service and faith, was the first of 10 massacre victims to be laid to rest.

BUFFALO — Amy Pilc never socialized with Heyward Patterson, a jitney driver at the grocery store where she often shopped.

Patterson was killed in a racist massacre at the grocery store last week did Ms.

Patterson’s funeral at Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church Friday morning.

The service on Friday was the first for 10 Black people who came to the Jefferson Avenue supermarket, Tops, on their own personal, quotidian missions — a work shift, a dinner supply run, a trip to buy a birthday cake for a 3-year-old son — but whose lives ended together.

But hundreds of visitors from across New York State traveled to Buffalo on Friday to mourn the death of their friend, a deacon at State Tabernacle Church of God whose greetings at the front entrance brightened worshipers’ days.

Deacon Patterson, as he was known, would take a few dollars to provide rides from the Tops in Masten Park, a poorer section where many residents lack cars and rely on tight-knit circles of neighbors for help.

Patterson and had been his friend ever since.

Patterson — Tenny or Boy Tenny to his family and friends — the Tops store in Masten Park was like a second ministry.

The trait was as evident in his volunteer work at the soup kitchen at his Glenwood Avenue church as it was in his shepherding shoppers at the market.

Patterson’s dozens of distant relatives, a group that included the godmother of a cousin, were asked to sing a selection of gospel music during the service.

On Thursday, his former wife, Tirzah Patterson, had spoken alongside the families of three other people who were killed in the rampage.

For the youngest of his three children, Jaques Patterson, 12, she said, adapting to a world without his father — who gave him “anything he asked for” — had been devastating.

Patterson said, adding that her son had struggled to eat and sleep through the night.

Patterson had encouraged him to stop by his church for a service.

Wilson said.

Patterson and a group of other relatives

Wilson said


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