Services held for three Lewiston mass shooting victims over weekend
Memorial services were held this weekend for three of the 18 victims in the Lewiston mass shooting on Wednesday, Oct. 25 — Billy Brackett, Thomas Ryan Conrad and Arthur Fred Strout.
Brackett's friends called him the "Gentle Giant," acknowledging his sweet nature and large stature.
As a baby he was diagnosed as deaf. Brackett's family moved to Maine and he went to the Gov. Baxter School for the Deaf. He thrived with children who also used sign language to communicate.
He was playing cornhole with friends at Schemengees Bar & Grille on Oct. 25. Brackett and close friends from the deaf community Joshua Seal, Bryan MacFarlane and Stephen Vozzella all died that night.
Brackett was 48.
Thomas Ryan Conrad, known to friends and family as Tommy, lived his life ready to protect and help those around him. It was his nature, according to those who knew him.
Conrad died at Just in Time Recreation, trying to stop the gunman who had entered the bowling alley full of families and patrons.
His father, Timothy Conrad, said at his service Saturday that his son enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Iraq before returning to Maine.
"I want the world to know my son went out a hero," he said. "He did what he thought was right."
Conrad received military honors, and American flags were presented to his family. Conrad was working as a manager at Just in Time Recreation when he died. He was 34.
Arthur Fred Strout was called "Artie" by family and friends. His obituary said those who knew him remember his kindness, his relentless hugs and a ridiculously goofy giggle.
Above all, Strout enjoyed spending time with family and friends, especially playing pool, and video games with his children.
Strout was at Schemengees Bar and Grille when he died. He was 42.