A memorial service was held Monday night in Prince Albert to celebrate the life of a woman who captured the public eye.
The service for Marlene Bird was attended by more than 100 people, including many members of Bird’s family and close friends, as well as her long-time partner Patrick Lavallee.
The Indigenous woman garnered national attention after surviving a horrific a parking lot attack in 2014. The attack cost Bird both her legs and part of her eyesight after she was beaten, sexually assaulted and burned.
Ruby Bird said her cousin was more like a sister, and will be missed by many.
“She was a fun woman. I loved spending time with her,” Ruby said during the service at the Full Gospel Outreach Centre in downtown Prince Albert.
Ruby remembered her cousin as a fighter who had a strong spirit. Her resilience was evident when she never lost her sense of humour even after losing her legs and much of her eyesight, Ruby said.
“She was the most loving woman there was, but she was also cheeky. Very cheeky,” Ruby said. “That’s the woman I’m going to miss.”
Bird died Monday morning in hospital from organ failure at the age of 50.
Marlene’s daughter Samantha Bird also spoke, describing Marlene as a good mother who took care of her throughout her childhood.
“I have good memories of her,” Samantha said. “I hope she’s happy right now.”