More than 1,600 people filled Red Deer City Hall Park for a candlelight vigil in honour of a doctor who was killed earlier this week.
Dr. Walter Reynolds died Monday after an attack at the Village Mall Walk-in Clinic, where he worked.
“Walter’s larger-than-life love for his wife and daughters cannot, and never will, be extinguished,” Reynolds’ sister-in-law, Jonine Mostert, said during the vigil Friday evening.
“Dr. Walter Reynolds, we miss you and we love you. May you rest in peace.”
Mostert said Reynolds was an “extraordinary” person.
“He was amazing. I had the privilege of knowing Walter as part of our family for 19 years, and I can still remember the very first time I met him back in 2001. He became such an integral part of our family because that is who Walter was,” she said.
“He touched the lives of people everywhere he went, no matter who it was. Walter lived life to the fullest and his zest for life was contagious.”
Attendees received a blue and green ribbon upon entering City Hall Park. Many physicians attending the event were wearing white.
Alejandra Rojas, another speaker from Friday’s vigil, said she met Reynolds 14 years ago.
“I walked into the walk-in clinic with a piece of paper in hand. The piece of paper said in English, because I couldn’t speak any English at the time, ‘Could you please be my family doctor.’ And he responded, ‘Si,’” said Rojas.
“He liked to joke and that made things easy on both of us. He was humble, caring and always understanding, very patient, and always trying to find a solution for everything.”
Rojas said many are “heartbroken” following his death.
“We’re going to miss him,” she said.
“We lost a man who was a good father, good friend, good colleague and good human being.”
Mayor Tara Veer said Reynolds’ death was “a horrible tragedy.”
“We couldn’t have fathomed this time last week that we would be here mourning the loss of such an incredible member of our community,” Veer said following the vigil.
“Messages of support have been pouring in from across our province and country, and our community came together to stand in solidarity in support of the Reynolds family and to remember the life and legacy of Dr. Walter Reynolds.”
Veer said the vigil was a demonstration of the community’s unity.
“Tragedy has a way of distilling what matters most in life, and our relationships with people matter most of all,” said Veer.
“Tonight really brought our community together. It was a powerful reminder of the life, legacy and positive influence one individual has had on our community and the resounding effect of that.”