When Bob and Lucy Violette left their home Wednesday, headed to Just-In-Time Recreation to spend another evening with the young bowlers they spent so much time coaching, they left their lives behind.

Whatever dishes might have been in the sink. A TV remote next to a chair. Leftovers in the refrigerator. A pile of laundry they intended to get to this weekend.

They left their lives behind, as did Aaron and Bill Young.

Aaron was the youngest of the 18 victims killed, and an avid bowler who recently celebrated his highest score yet, at 275. His bike is right where he last stored it. Same with his fishing pole. School books. Jackets. Shoes.

William Brackett left his life in Brunswick Wednesday when he headed to Schemengees Bar & Grille for a cornhole tournament. He left behind his wife, Kristina, and their young daughter, whose lives will never be the same.

Stay-at-home father Maxx Hathaway also left his life behind, and leaves behind his wife, Brenda, and their two young children. He will not be with Brenda to welcome their third child into the world just about a month from now, and he will not be there to celebrate the children’s birthdays or watch them grow.


Joseph Walker, a sports fanatic who absolutely loved people, left his life behind at Schemengees. The bar’s manager, he was forever organizing events that brought people to that spot to share a drink, a laugh, a hug, maybe even a little ribbing over a poorly played dart game. The kind of interactions with our family and friends that bring pleasure to our lives.

Payton Brewer-Ross left his life behind, too, along with his nerdy games, the costumes he wore that cracked people up, his Superman collectibles and his 2-year-old daughter. How is anyone ever going to explain to this child, in a way that makes any sense at all, why her father isn’t here to hug her, hold her hand, soothe her tears. It simply will not be possible.

Tricia Asselin was a wonderful woman who loved her part-time jobs at Just-In-Time Recreation and Apple Valley Golf Course — which she managed to fit around her full-time job at Modula. Was it the actual work she loved? Or more likely the people she encountered while working? She left her life and those people behind. There will always be an echo of her laughter and her personality, but her friends have lost her precious company.

Sweet and funny Ronald Morin left his life behind, never to be partnered with a friend for another cornhole match. Never to play another softball game or pick up another hockey stick. Never to hug his children again.

Just-in-Time Recreation manager Thomas Conrad left his life behind in the very bowling alley where he so loved to be. With the people who he so loved to help, and the people he so loved to swap stories with.

Stephen Vozzella will not celebrate the one-year anniversary with his wife next month. He left his life behind at Schemengees, the place to be on a Wednesday night if you’re looking for a rousing cornhole game. There is no explanation good enough to give his children. Or his friends. Or his co-workers. Or anyone in this community.


There is no explanation good enough to understand why Michael Deslauriers, Keith Macneir, Joshua Seal, Bryan MacFarlane, Arthur Strout or Jason Walker left their lives behind on Wednesday evening. No explanation good enough now, and no explanation that will ever be good enough in the days to come.

Every single one of these people, people we knew and loved, left their lives behind while doing perfectly ordinary things with every expectation they would be returning to their homes and their loved ones Wednesday night.

Any one of these 18 people could have been any one of us. And for that reason, every one of us must embrace the lives we have, the people in our lives, the places where we love to go and the things we love to do every minute of every day.

Every one.

Every minute.

Every day.

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