Billy Brackett with his daughter, Sandra, and wife, Kristina. Courtesy of Kristen Smith

Family and friends of Brunswick resident Billy Brackett, one of 18 people killed in last week’s mass shooting in Lewiston, said they are heartbroken.

Brackett, 48, leaves behind a wife, Kristina, and their 2-year-old daughter, Sandra. He was one of four deaf friends killed while they played in a cornhole tournament Wednesday night at Schemengees Bar & Grille, which along with a nearby bowling alley were targeted by Robert Card, 40, of Bowdoin, according to authorities. Card was found dead of a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound two days later in Lisbon.

“Billy was a loving husband who adored his wife,” his family said in a statement. “His daughter was the apple of his eye and he loved and adored her more than anything.

“He enjoyed hunting and fishing and was looking forward to teaching his little girl. He was liked/loved by many. Everyone he came in contact with he would teach them sign language if they didn’t know. Billy is known as ‘The Silent Giant.’ He is going to be missed dearly.”

“He was a gentle soul,” said Brian Smith, Brackett’s brother-in-law. “He got along with everybody. He would try to help everybody.”

Brackett’s funeral is at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, at Brackett Funeral Home in Brunswick, according to his obituary. Visiting hours are 1-3 p.m. that day. A celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday at the West Bath Fire/Rescue Department on State Road.


Gerry Duguay Jr., of Sabattus, met Brackett when they attended the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf in Falmouth.

“I’ve known him for over 30 years,” Duguay said through an interpreter. “We were basically best friends.

“I miss him a lot.”

Brackett loved sports, Duguay said. He played basketball in school and as an adult played in local baseball, softball, darts and cornhole leagues.

“He was such a cool guy,” Duguay said. “I’m just heartbroken.”

He said Brackett was single for many years before he met his wife.


“He was always hoping to find the right woman to marry,” he said. “He finally found her.”

Duguay said Brackett was a devoted family man who was ecstatic when his daughter was born. Family members started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for her as she grows up.

Matt Welch, of Westbrook, met Brackett after he moved to Maine in 2002 and played sports with him.

“He was a tall, big guy, and he loved to talk about sports,” Welch said through an interpreter. “He loved being active, loved playing games.”

Brackett worked as a FedEx package handler in Lewiston. His three friends killed alongside him were Joshua Seal, a 36-year-old married father of four from Lisbon Falls who worked as an interpreting director and appeared in Maine officials’ televised daily updates during the height of the coronavirus pandemic; Steve Vozzella, a 45-year-old married father of two from South Paris who was a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier; and Bryan MacFarlane, a 40-year-old who grew up in Maine, recently moved back, and was one of the few deaf people to obtain a commercial truck-driving license.

Welch said the state’s Deaf community is devastated.

“The Deaf community is already very small,” he said. “We’ve lost valuable members of our community. It’s just a shock.”

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