Billy Brackett deeply loved his wife, Kristina, and his daughter, Sandra, who is 2½ years old. He was so happy about the family they’d created, said his brother-in-law Brian Smith.

“He was a very kind, gentle soul,” Smith said. “He didn’t speak very well because of his hearing loss, so he didn’t say much. A lot of people called him a silent giant.”

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

Billy, who was 48, was an avid darts and cornhole player. He was at Schemengees Bar & Grille on Wednesday night, as he often was, for a cornhole tournament, Smith said.

He was one of four people from Maine’s tight-knit Deaf community who were killed at Schemengees.

“Our community is grieving deeply,” Karen Hopkins, executive director of the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf/Governor Baxter School for the Deaf, wrote on Facebook.

Billy and Kristina Brackett met through mutual friends in the Deaf community, and she quickly became his biggest supporter at tournaments, Smith said. They married in August 2020.


Billy also enjoyed hunting and fishing.

He worked part time for UPS and FedEx.

Billy’s wife is devastated, said Smith, though Sandra is so young.

“Sandra doesn’t fully understand what has happened because she is also deaf,” he said.

Family members and friends are supporting them through this difficult time, Smith said. A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help pay not just for funeral costs, but for hearing aids and other equipment for Sandra and for her future education.

“Both Billy and Kristina are low income and their daughter has significant needs,” Smith said. “Nobody expects to lose their spouse like this.”

– Kelley Bouchard (Press Herald)

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