BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — In the late 1980s, Katherine “Kat” Massey was tired of the perpetually overgrown lot on state property on her street, so she sent a letter on “Cherry Street Block Club” letterhead to the governor which led to it being cleaned up.
Massey was the only one who knew that the letterhead — and the block club — were her own creations and that she was the only “club” member.
It was the kind of stop-at-nothing advocacy Massey, 72, was always known for, those who knew her said at her funeral Monday as mourning continued for victims of the racist attack on a Buffalo supermarket.
“She was the mayor in every neighborhood that she lived in,” said U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, one of several elected officials who joined family, friends and former coworkers inside Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church for a celebration of her life.
Massey was among the 10 Black people killed May 14 when a white gunman in body armor targeted shoppers and workers at a Tops Friendly Market in a predominantly Black neighborhood of Buffalo. Three others were injured in the attack, which federal authorities are investigating as a hate crime.
The alleged gunman, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, of Conklin, has been charged with murder and is being held without bail.
Just before the start of a funeral service filled with laughter and tears, family members approached Massey’s open casket, pulling their facemasks aside and bending down to kiss her goodbye.
(Please click the link below to continue reading this article.)