Hundreds gather to share memories of Tara Roe, former Brandon woman killed in Las Vegas shooting

Family and friends came together in a  Manitoba community Friday to remember a woman killed in the massacre in Las Vegas Oct. 1.

Tara Roe, 34, was in Vegas with her husband and friends when a gunman opened fire on a country music festival.

The mother of two lived in Okotoks, Alberta, but had grown up in Brandon.

Over 500 people came to a memorial in the community Friday at the Victoria Inn, where family members paid tribute to Roe in a celebration of life.

Roe’s parents and sister, as well as her husband Zach, all shared memories and spoke about how Roe would be remembered

Addressing the media after the memorial, Roe’s father said the family was grateful for the outpouring of support from the community and that the focus was on her life.

“We did not dwell on the evil that took our Tara from our lives, but we shared—with laughter and tears—her happy times, her accomplishments, our memories of her and why she was loved so much, by so many,” he said.

Her father also said that Roe was a wonderful mother whose “greatest treasures” were her children, Louis and Lennon.

Roe was described as someone who loved life and adventure, and who knew the importance of family and friends.

A spokesperson for the family said guests were also invited to sign a petition supporting gun control after the ceremony, although gun control was not a theme of the celebration.

Full statement from the Roe, Smith & Spiropoulos families:

“On this autumn day, hundreds of family, friends and acquaintances gathered here to celebrate the life of Tara, one that was far too short.

We did not dwell on the evil that took our Tara from our lives, but we shared—with laughter and tears—her happy times, her accomplishments, our memories of her and why she was loved so much, by so many.

She was a wonderful daughter to Brenda and I. A great sister to Tami, sister-in-law to Taso and  Auntie to Andreus and Maria. Most of all, she was a loving wife to Zach and a wonderful mother to her greatest treasures—Louis and Lennon.

Tara loved life. She wanted to experience new adventures, taking up wave surfing and kayaking just this summer.  She loved to do things with her family, enjoyed camping, Clear Lake time, biking and quiet game nights.  She wanted her boys to be active too, and did so much to support them with their hockey and lacrosse. Tara and family were big supporters of the Okotoks sports community, and were fans of the Oilers hockey and Dawgs baseball teams. She took pride in the achievements of her autistic students and was keen on furthering her education in child development.

She knew the importance of family and good friends. She could be counted on for compassion and support during both good times and bad.

Like everyone here today who had their own connection to Tara, we will support each other as we go forward. And while we find a way to live our lives without Tara,  she will never be forgotten.

We are very grateful for all the outpouring of love and support during this incredibly difficult time. It is very much appreciated and we are very thankful.

Thank you.”

The Roe, Smith & Spiropoulos families

Full statement from Tami Spiropoulos, Sister of Tara Roe

“Preparing for what I was going to say about my sister Tara today, I tried to think of a single favorite memory of her, but there are honestly too many to choose from. I tried to think about the big things, the significant milestones growing up together. But the more I thought, the more it became clear that it’s all the little things that have mattered the most to me. Laughing about nothing in particular. Fighting about nothing in particular. Crying about nothing in particular (we were sisters, after all). It’s a collection of these memories that when grouped together makes something profound. Something I will always hold onto.

I think the quote ‘distance makes the heart grow fonder’ is an expression that was written about Tara and I when she moved to Okotoks. We were always close, but distance made us appreciate each other, even more. Today, as we say goodbye to Tara, that distance is even further. And with all of my memories, and all of my heart, I will keep her closer to me than ever before, because distance means so little, when someone means so much to you, like Tara does to me, and to all who knew her.

You never know how strong a person can be, until strong is the only option you have. I will be strong for her boys. I will be strong for Zach. I will be strong for my husband and our kids. I will be strong for my parents and all our family. And I will always be strong for my sister, Tara.”

Tami Spiropoulos, sister of Tara Roe

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