About 300 people showed up to a candlelight vigil on Monday, April 4th, to commemorate the life of Kim Royer, a young wife, mother and business owner whose sudden passing sent shockwaves throughout the community. The event was held in front of Twiggs Coffee Roasters at Minnehaha Bay, the establishment Royer nurtured and grew along with her husband and co-owner Adam. Kim Royer passed away from cancer on April 2, at the age of 32, leaving behind her 2-year old daughter Ava and a grieving family and staff. A visitation was held on April 9 at Theoret Funeral Home.
Royer was an immensely popular local business owner who was characterized as having a ready smile for everyone. Friend Yvon Renaud, who helped organize the vigil, said it was a terrible loss to the business community in West Nipissing as the Royers were always so responsive to community events and volunteer activities. When planning the vigil he said, “Everybody I called for the night, nobody hesitated. Everybody was there… It was such tragic news for our community and it was something we weren’t expecting – especially someone so young and vibrant, who did so many things for our community. She was always there for anything, for any organization, any team that needed fund raising.”
Both Renaud and Mayor Joanne Savage spoke at the evening, with local talent Nicole Glover singing Amazing Grace and You Raise Me Up, and Jordan Mowat with Tory Fisher drumming and singing a traditional song. Kim Royer’s grandmother lit the first candle and people were invited to share their memories at the highly emotional event.
Following the event, Adam Royer posted, “In 8 years as a resident here in West Nipissing, we have seen multiple tragedies. From folks losing their poor children in the river, devastating fires and overwhelming floods. Every time we watched the community come together. Picking up a flashlight to join a search, picking up a shovel to fill sand bags and picking up the bricks to help rebuild our lost buildings. It is a special place. Kimmy always knew and loved it. We are from Ottawa and Kingston and we’ve always told friends and family back home how lucky we are to live here now. Last night we saw it again! Seeing all of our friends, family and customers who stopped by to pay their respects was beautiful and fitting. I am thankful Kim’s family were there to see the community display what we do best for their beautiful daughter. The memories of that night will live forever with me and will help our family and community heal.”