WARREN – Brooke Walton of Warren found something to be happy about every day. It could be a visit from her young niece, her sister’s progress in school or her mother’s success in her nursing career.

“Brooke was happy right up to the very end,” said her father, Mark Walton. “Just an absolute joy, in spite of everything.”

Miss Walton died at her home Wednesday of complications from muscular dystrophy. She was 29.

Born in Presque Isle, Miss Walton also lived in Fairfield and Lewiston before her family settled in Warren 20 years ago.

A graduate of Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro, she attended the University of Maine at Augusta, where her interests ranged from behavioral sciences to mathematics to computer technology.

During her college years, her father said, her physical abilities started to decline.

But she pursued online courses in Web site design and, after moving back to her family’s home due to her increasing immobility, started her own business, B.E.W. Media.

She started out creating an online store for a client, and through word-of-mouth, created sites for others, ranging from hotel operators to ATV enthusiasts.

“Her selection criteria for who she was going to do stuff was: You had to be a good person,” her father said. “She would do anything for anyone if they were nice — people from California to Florida.”

Miss Walton might initially seem quiet and bashful — until you got to be pals. She had a big grin that made it easy to be friends, usually for life, her father said.

Her relationship with her 5-year-old niece, Lillian Walton-Griffin, was a source of great joy.

Though Miss Walton had problems with mobility, Lilly — the daughter of Miss Walton’s older sister, Mikala — would snuggle up to her aunt, who was set up in the living room with her computers. Together, they could explore the world on the Internet.

After she returned to Warren, Miss Walton developed a keen interest in conservative politics and the work of commentators such as Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly.

Her father noticed that this evolution took place after she started her business and saw what it took to run it.

“She just thought people need to work and sometimes work is not what you really want to do, but you do it to put food on the table. She’s the type that just believed in that,” he said. “She just worked uncountable hours when need be, in spite of her inabilities physically.”

Miss Walton never complained about her illness.

In that way, her father said, she was like her younger brother, Travis, who died in 1997, also of complications related to muscular dystrophy.

“Their attitude was: ‘It’s there and other people have bigger problems. Let’s get on with it. Let’s do what we can do.’ “

 

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at: [email protected]