Nova Scotia

Shooting victims Greg and Jamie Blair 'celebrated the precious things in life'

Greg and Jamie Blair died in the shooting rampage that started Saturday night in their hometown of Portapique, N.S. Their loved ones remember them as a generous couple.

Couple were long-time residents of Portapique, N.S., who had four sons and a granddaughter

Jamie Blair, left, and Greg Blair are shown in a family handout photo. They are among the victims of the killing rampage in Nova Scotia this past weekend. (Kelly Blair/The Canadian Press)

In the centre of the concrete floor of a small garage, with its door rolled up and daylight pouring in, Greg and Jamie Blair hold each other and dance.

Greg spins his wife a few times to the delight of the woman taking the video, who laughs and cheers them on. When the song playing in the background reaches its crescendo, Ed Sheeren sings "Take me into your loving arms," and the videographer yells, "Take Chicken into your loving arms."

Chicken was Jamie's nickname, according to the GoFundMe page set up to assist Greg and Jamie's sons, Jack, 10, and Alex, 12, who lost both their parents in the shooting rampage that swept across rural Nova Scotia on the weekend.

Had Greg survived, he would have celebrated his 46th birthday this week. Jamie was 40.

"Even though financial assistance will not bring back the happy times, a shoulder to lean on, a simple hug, an I love you or even a wrestling match on the living room floor. We can only hope it will help during this stressful time with the unexpected expenses they will face over in the future," the fundraising page said.

Greg had two more sons from a previous relationship, Tyler, 27, and Craig, 24, who were stepsons to Jamie. The couple and Tyler and Craig all worked together, running a family owned gas-fitting company, GB Gas and Energy.

The young boys are now staying with their stepbrother Tyler, whose five-month-old daughter Hayden was Greg and Jamie's first grandchild.

Family, neighbours and friends mourn their loss

The video of Greg and Jamie dancing was featured on the GoFundMe page for Jack and Alex, which said the couple "celebrated the precious things in life."

The couple lived in Portapique, a small town on the Bay of Fundy, where the shooting began on Saturday night. Before the rampage ended, 22 victims would be dead.

In their joint obituary, the Blairs were remembered as "the life of the party," who always went above and beyond for anyone they met.

"Greg and Jamie loved spending every minute surrounded by family and especially their new granddaughter, Hayden, whom they loved more than life," the obituary reads.

The couple loved the outdoors and belonged to the West Colchester Minor Hockey Association — and were often found at the rink supporting their two youngest sons.

"Greg will always be remembered for his sense of humour, his love for life, and his special bond he held so dearly with his best friend, his father," it reads.

"Jamie will always be remembered by her beautiful smile, her contagious laugh and her ability to always keep everything together for everyone."

Chris Goodwin stands near the shore where he used to have bonfires with his neighbours and friends, Greg and Jamie Blair. (Shaina Luck/CBC)

One of their neighbours, Chris Goodwin, said he grew up in the area with Jamie.

"[They were] just good people," Goodwin said. "Fun to hang out with."

Goodwin said he has many good memories of sitting around a bonfire with Greg and Jamie on the community's beaches.

They were generous, according to Greg's uncle, Karl Kaulback.

"They would give the shirts off their backs," Kaulback said. "It's hard — hard to think how such lovely people could be killed ... and targeted for no reason, no reason at all."

Dog Zoey survived

The couple's dog Zoey survived the weekend's attack despite being shot.

On Sunday morning, RCMP brought the nine-year-old miniature pinscher to veterinarian Jennifer McKay, who began operating to treat a gunshot wound to the dog's rear end.

Once she'd already started the operation, McKay realized she knew the dog because she knew its owners.

McKay said she shared time with Jamie in the stands of hockey arenas, watching their sons play on the same team.

"We're going to all miss her dearly, for sure," McKay said.

If you are seeking mental health support during this time, here are resources available to Nova Scotians.

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