For Peyton Brewer-Ross, his life as a new father had just started to take shape
Peyton Brewer-Ross had a colorful wardrobe. He had a large Superman tattoo on his arm and a collection of t-shirts with his favorite wrestler, Macho Man Randy Savage, on the front.
Then there was the Randy Savage red jacket, complete with a cheetah pattern and long, multi-colored tassels hanging from the sleeves.
Ralph Wellman-Brewer recalls his younger brother showing up to a gathering at the family's camp on Cobbossee Lake with the jacket on. If there was anyone could pull off the look, Brewer-Wellman said, it was Peyton.
"He was a character. He just make people laugh," Wellman-Brewer said in a phone interview Tuesday. "It was the way he was able to tell stories. You could hear the story, it could be 100 times, but each time he told it there was something else that you could pull out of it."
Brewer-Ross, age 40, was among the 18 people who died one week ago in the mass shootings in Lewiston, which has devastated the city and several other communities.
Family members and friends say Brewer-Ross could talk for hours about comic books. He loved wrestling and was always on the lookout for a good cornhole tournament.
But Wellman-Brewer said that it was in recent years that his brother's life as a partner, a father, and a professional shipbuilder, had started to take shape.
"He got everything lined up," Wellman-Brewer said. "[In your] early 20s and even in your 30s, sometimes it's hard to figure out what it is that you want to do in life. He did many different jobs, moving and storage. He owned his own bread route, delivering bread. That was just until he figured out what he wanted to do."
Five years ago, Brewer-Ross started work at Bath Iron Works and graduated from an apprenticeship program last year as a pipefitter. Rebecca Wolfenden met Brewer-Ross on the first day of that program.
"We started our class with three pipefitters and three women. And by the end of it, he was the only pipefitter left, and I was the only woman left in our class," she said Tuesday. "He always used to make the joke that we were the highlanders."
Brewer-Ross was determined to complete the program, often arriving first for his shift or for study time, Wolfenden said.
"If he had a goal in mind, if he said that he was going to do something, there was no way that anyone or anything was going to stop him," she said.
Wellman-Brewer saw his younger brother taking steps to settle down.
"He tried to better himself," he said. "He did better himself, by getting in there and doing it. Taking the bull by the horns and making something for him and Rachael, his fiancée.
Peyton and Rachael had been together for 15 years, and the couple had wanted to buy a house for the two of them and their daughter, Elle, who turned two years old last month.
"He really loved being a dad and was really looking forward to settling down and growing up," Wolfenden said with a laugh. "Not just being the goofball who was down for whatever, but actually being the grownup, with the good job and the partner and the family, and all of that."
In fact, Wellman-Brewer said his brother had been talking about cutting back on cornhole tournaments so he could spend more time at home with his family. And for the last few weeks, he hadn't gone to play at all. His car had been in the shop for repairs, but it was returned to him last Wednesday afternoon, hours before he would drive to Schemengee's later that night for the usual tournament.
His brother, Ralph Wellman Brewer, said Peyton's loss has been difficult and confusing for Elle, who had been learning to toss the cornhole bags with her dad in the yard.
"Because she doesn't understand," he said. "She wakes up and it's like, 'Where's Daddy?' Daddy's not there."