As the state of Maine begins to heal, it is important to reflect on the legacies of those taken before their time. While the story of their passing is worth sharing, even more important is that of their years on this earth. Each of these 18 people had passions, dreams and a role in our community. By reading through the lives of each victim in the Lewiston massacre, we can truly pay tribute to everything that they brought to the world.
Tricia Asselin, 53, was a part-time employee at Spare Time and was off the clock and bowling when shots were fired. According to the Washington Post, she ran behind the counter to call 911 upon hearing gunfire and was killed in the process. She was a mother to a boy named Brandon and was also a daughter, sister and friend.
According to her obituary, Asselin was selflessly dedicated with a deep sense of empathy and a love of sports. She participated frequently in fundraising campaigns, such as Make-A-Wish, and advocated for others. Alicia LaChance, her mother, told News Center Maine that Asselin even walked the Boston Marathon after the bombing. According to AP News, she was also described by her cousin, Tammy, as “always happy-go-lucky.” Asselin will be buried in Auburn with her father.
William Brackett, 48, worked for FedEx as a package handler. According to the Portland Press Herald, he was married to Kristina Brackett in 2020 and was the father of a two-year-old girl. Brackett was part of a cornhole tournament with deaf players at Schemengees Bar and Grille. Two of his favorite activities included competing in darts and playing cornhole.
According to his obituary, Brackett also “loved fishing and hunting and was looking forward to the day he could teach his little girl.”
Peyton Brewer-Ross, 40, father of a two-year-old girl named Elle, was recently engaged to his life partner, Rachael. They were planning to buy a home together. He was a five-year Local S6 member and Bath Iron Works employee. He was described by IAM Local S6 as “an upstanding member of our community.”
Brewer-Ross loved comic books, baseball, wrestling, Star Wars and corn hole.
His obituary states, “You couldn’t meet Peyton and not be his friend. He had a way of making you feel as though he knew you for many years even though you may have just met him for the first time.”
Thomas Conrad, 34, was a US Army veteran, fan of New England sports and father to a nine-year-old girl named Caroline. He was recently hired as a manager at Spare Time, according to the Portland Press Herald. Thomas planned to host a pumpkin carving event for children in Lewiston before he was killed in the process of trying to stop the shooter. Community members have chosen to pay tribute to him by leaving Jack-o-lanterns outside the bowling alley.
In response to the news of his death, a good friend, Alex McMahan stated that he was “not surprised that he didn’t hesitate to put his life on the line to try and help others.”
Thomas was described in his obituary by the mother of his child as “the exact person you’d want in an emergency. Any chance he could jump into action he did. What he did on the night of Oct. 25 perfectly exemplifies his character at its core.”
Michael Deslauriers II, 51, was a loyal 30-year network engineer at St. Mary’s Hospital and an Oak Hill High School graduate. Most recently, he was employed by WG Tech in Westbrook.
According to his obituary, “Above all, family meant everything to Mike. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his children, nieces, nephews or the many who called him Uncle Mikey.”
According to the Washington Post, a survivor said that Michael lunged at the shooter and died a hero. He was a father to three children, who he made sure had taken cover before he attempted to stop the killer. He bowled in a weekly league with his best friend, Jason Walker and loved to golf, as well.
Maxx Hathaway, 35, was the father of two children. According to the Boston Globe, his pregnant wife, Brenda, and young daughter left Schemengees Bar and Grille early in the evening. He was killed during the attack shortly thereafter.
His sister, Kelsay, wrote online that Hathaway “loved to joke around and always had an uplifting attitude.” Soleil Gibbs, a former classmate, told the New York Post that she remembers Maxx as a “truly genuine person.”
Bryan MacFarlane, 41, was one of the first deaf individuals to obtain a license for commercial truck driving. According to the Portland Press Herald, he grew up in the Portland area and recently moved back to Maine so he could be closer to his mother in Lewiston. MacFarlane loved to fish, camp, ride his motorcycle, and spend time with his beloved dog, M&M, after his favorite candy.
Keith Macneir, 64, lived in South Florida and held the position of chief of maintenance at the Virgin Islands National Park. According to AP News, he came to Maine to celebrate his birthday with his son, Breslin Macnier. The two were at Schemengees when Breslin asked his father to wait at the bar while he left briefly for a meeting. It was during his absence that the shooter killed Macneir. Breslin told NBC that his dad “always did his best to try and take care of people around him.”
Ronald Morin, 55, was married to Lynn Morin and had two children named Amy and Eric. According to his obituary, Ronald was hired as a sales merchandiser for the Northeast Coca-Cola company in 1989, and he graduated from Lewiston High School in ‘86. He valued his professional relationships greatly and never missed a day of work.
His wife, children and dog, Remy, were the most meaningful figures in his life. He intended to retire to move closer to his family. Some of his passions included making people laugh, playing hockey, cornhole and softball.
Joshua Seal, 36, was from Lisbon Falls and was the director of interpreting services for the Pine Tree Society. He was a husband, father to four deaf children and an active member of the community. He contributed his time to interpreting sign language for Maine officials on daily television during the peak of COVID-19.
He also created the Dirigo Experience, a summer camp for deaf children. According to his wife, Elizabeth Seal, Joshua Seal loved spending time with his kids, traveling, camping and visiting the beach.
According to Bangor Daily News, Elizabeth Seal states that if her husband were still here, “he’d want to see action, for us to do something about it” in relation to the shooting.
Arthur Strout, 42, was a married parent with a blended family of five children. His father was also at the bar playing pool before the shooting, but left about 10 minutes beforehand. He loved playing pool and cooking Italian food. Arthur’s wife, Kristy Strout, stated to AP News, “He’s helped me raise my children since they were very, very little.”
Robert Violette, 76, volunteered for a youth bowling league at Spare Time and was a retired Sears mechanic who served his country in the US Army. When the attack began, he placed himself between the shooter and the children he was coaching. He was killed in the process of protecting children from harm, as stated in the Portland Press Herald. According to his obituary, Robert was “patient, and had a true passion for sharing wisdom, life lessons and teaching in any capacity.”
Robert’s lease on life was to keep the sport of bowling alive, so he taught people how to play every week for free. According to AP News, he was described by a parent of one of the teenage players as “unfailingly approachable and caring.”
Lucille Violette, 76, devoted 52 years to her position as secretary for Lewiston Public Schools. She and Robert Violette were happily married with three sons and six grandchildren. Lucille was active in the Lewiston bowling community, participating in a women’s league and a couple’s league. Violette was wounded by the attack and passed away at a local hospital as a result of the injuries sustained.
According to her obituary, Lucille’s “gentle touch and loving spirit will be sorely missed but will live on through the hearts of her grandchildren.”
Steven Vozzella, 45, was a husband and father to two children. He worked as a US Postal Service letter carrier and an award-winning member of the New England Deaf Cornhole group. The organization plans to honor him in their upcoming cornhole tournament on Nov. 18 and are deeply saddened by the loss of Steven, who was described in the group’s Facebook post as a player who brought “excitement” and “a huge smile” to the tournaments. He was also a former student-athlete who loved playing baseball and basketball.
Jason Walker, 51, was married to Kathleen Walker and had two sons, Colin and Jonathan. According to his obituary, Jason Walker joined the Maine National Guard after graduating from Oak Hill High School alongside Michael Deslauniers, his best friend.
According to the Sabattus Historical Society, Jason Walker contributed significant time and expertise to preserving the town’s history as a videographer and editor. He loved vegetable gardening, baking sourdough bread and self-teaching on various topics. Michael Deslauriers Sr. stated in a Facebook post that his son and Jason Walker both “made sure their wives and several young children were under cover then they charged the shooter.”
Joseph Walker, 57, was the husband of Tracey Walker. He was also a father, grandfather and son who worked as a manager at Schemengees Bar and Grille. According to his father, City Councillor Leroy Walker, Joseph Walker was killed while courageously charging at the shooter with a butcher knife, which was discovered beside him when first responders arrived at the scene.
Leroy Walker stated to CNN that he is “very proud” of his son and “I know that definitely he would do this all over again.”
Aaron Young, 14, was a high-scoring bowler. He looked up to his father and loved to fish and ride bikes with his friends.
His uncle, Rob Young, told CNN that Aaron Young was gentle, thoughtful and “enjoyed doing anything his father was doing. He was the only child killed in the Lewiston shootings and had several decades of life ahead of him before the tragedy.
William Young, 44, the husband of Cindy Young and father of three, accompanied Aaron Young to a youth league competition at the local bowling alley. According to Bangor Daily News, Rob Young stated that the father and son were “both the apple of each other’s eyes.” William also had a tattoo of his daughter’s name.