Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home

199 Woodford Street, Portland, ME


Samuel Phillip Brackett

12 novembre 199822 mars 2020

Portland - Samuel Phillip Brackett, 21, passed away from an accidental overdose on Sunday, March 22, 2020 in Portland, ME, a city he loved. Born on Nov. 12, 1998, Sam grew up in Westport, CT. and graduated from Staples High School in 2017. He then moved to Providence Place and attended Southern Maine Community College. He first worked at The Grill Room, moving on to Even Tide Oyster Company, where he was arguably one of the fastest shuckers working the raw oyster bar; classmates at SMCC affectionately called him “Shucker Sam.” He reliably ordered a side of waffles with his waffles at Sunday brunches with his grandfather. Sam had an amazing smile; he loved discussing history and politics, pondering life’s big questions, and listening to music. He was curious, kind, and funny; he faced life’s struggles with great courage. Sam was becoming a young man with hope for the future. He was teaching himself to trade the stock market, and he was planning to attend University of Southern Maine in the fall. He was deeply loved, and he will be terribly missed.

Sam is survived by his parents, Catherine and Phil Brackett, his two sisters, Amelia and Daisy, all formerly of Westport, CT, as well as his grandparents: Nancy and Jean Ratelle of S. Yarmouth, MA, and Tom and Liz Brackett of Hamilton, NY. Sam leaves behind numerous friends and family: five aunts, seven uncles, and many cousins.

A celebration of Sam’s life will be held when it is safe to gather. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation, in Sam’s Name, to the Southern Maine Community College Foundation, 2 Fort Road, South Portland, ME 04106; for an endowment set up in his name to honor excellence in teaching at SMCC.


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Samuel Phillip Brackett

have a memory or condolence to add?

Catherine Brackett

mai 31, 2020

Peter Galfetti

mai 6, 2020

A fleeting moment, a glimpse in time.... for some that’s all it takes to make a life long impact on all they meet. This is your Sam.

‘‘Twas me who badged the man ‘shucker Sam’ for he had a vision of wheels supporting a stand.

As grand as it may seem, he was ready to shine. The plans were all set and it was getting near time.

Sam tried as he may, yet the stand it’s not there - down in the Old Port; and I say that ain’t fair.

Yet - be as it may
We all had the chance
To meet that young man and watch his blade dance
O’er the shells he would crack and slice..
“Shucker Sam” he was known for his half shells on ice.

For some you just cannot place the loss into words. Sitting next to Sam in class was a joy in itself, the wonderment of his curiosity at which he approached life was just invigorating.

Bless you all as you remember the days when Sam was among us - and cherish the moments and memories we all have because of him.

Ian Laura Michael Overton

mai 4, 2020

Phil and Catherine, Ian, Michael and I would like to express our deepest sympathy for the loss of your Sam. We are so very sorry. We wish there was some way we could help in this sad time as words seem inadequate. Please know we care and hold your family in our prayers and send you virtual
Hugs. Sam had the most beautiful of smiles. We will always remember him smiling.

Robert Wylie

avril 30, 2020

Dear Daisy, Amelia, Catherine, Phil, and the Brackett and Ratelle families,

We are so sorry for Sam’s departure. Sam’s strength in working through the issues that challenged him was magnificent and contagious. His desire to stand on his own two feet was clear and he made significant progress in getting there. It was so encouraging to hear of Sam transitioning from recovery to dorm living to his own apartment, working successfully at the Grill Room and then the Even Tide, and on managing his admission and enrollment into Southern Maine. Meaningful positive steps.

The love and strength of the Brackett family in embracing Sam is an example for all of us. We learned much of Sam’s journey through long walks and mealtime conversation with his father. Family first was a credo by which the Bracketts lived and their support provided the care, safety net, and love that carried Sam forward.

We knew Sam, mostly as reflected through Phil, and through personal interactions (not enough!) over the years. With us, Sam was intellectually curious, thoughtful, challenging, engaging, genuine, sparkling and alive; Sam was a boy and then a young man finding his path to the rest of his life. We were so encouraged and hopeful for what Sam would do with his future. Luckily, we have memories of his courage, enthusiasm, persistence, and willingness to address difficult challenges and achieve positive change. We are blessed for that.

With all of our sympathies and love, Meaghan, Sarah, Jane, and Rob Wylie


avril 30, 2020

Sam Brackett .. our paths crossed only a few times at family gatherings … a reunion at the farm, a short stop-over at Westport. I remember a trip to Cape Cod in 2014, a group of occasional-visiting Beckers were heading to the lighthouse .. and you joined us. That says a lot about you. Pretty brave for a teenager to join a bunch of semi-strangers, extended family. I remember quizzing you about school and life as we took the lighthouse stairs. I wish I remembered more of our conversation. I remember thinking that you had a depth that exceeded your years. I have loved reading the memories people have of you. I remember you as brave.

Catherine and Phil, my heart hurts for you. Amelia & Daisy, a brother who goes too soon leaves a big hole. Remember the good times. Remember the ordinary times. Remember that he loved you all deeply.

Cristy Brackett

avril 28, 2020

Dear Sweet Sam,
As I watched the sun peek over the horizon this morning, I wondered again why you are not still here.

While death remains one of the only sure things about life, there is no explanation for yours being cut so short. You had much that you were ready to take on- it seemed. Without your choosing, your life was fast-forwarded; laughing on the beach and bobbing in the waves early and often, and then confronting difficult realities sooner than most. Along the way, you managed to remind us all about the importance of understanding and determination.

I loved your gentle, relaxed smile- the one that hid your fierce focus… on preparing an excellent dish -- for 17 of us at Thanksgiving! With a sense of purpose that was palpable, you ably moved to Maine, got a job and returned to school. Your intellectual curiosity about lots of issues, made you engaging - even easy to be with - in the car for 2 hours as we drove to Daisy's show. And I remember my astonishment, when you came down to stay for the night on your way to Florida, a month before Christmas - and asked if you could leave your "bag" filled with the gifts you would give to your family - all packaged and ready for Christmas morning!! Most endearing was your offer to show me what you had bought for your Mom...a big huge CAT pillow! You accomplished a lot in too little time, Sam. We will miss you towering over us in body and spirit - and we will keep you with us, always.

To Catherine, Phil, Amelia and Daisy- Our hearts go out to you. We are sending love and prayers to you all.

Sally Brackett

avril 21, 2020

Oh Sam. I’m so sorry you never.., you seemed to be a loner, I have some understanding of loners. You sat next to me at Thanksgiving 2018 and I said to you “ You know, if you ever want to talk about anything…“ and you said “I know”. Right before new year 2020 in Hamilton I feel so lucky to have spent some time with just us talking. Not talking about much, maybe investing and how to ask someone out for coffee. You were always so strong, direct and earnest in our conversations about nothing and everything. I’m so sad, so so sad your journey has parted from the rest of us left here without you. I hold your parents and sisters in a tight virtual embrace. The tallest, blondest Brackett there ever was!

Penelope Brackett

avril 21, 2020

Dear Sam, I had counted on time to heal, to grow, to connect. I felt at every goodbye, I would hold you tight, willing you to know our love, hoping it would bring you strength to carry on. You would always respond with an equally warm embrace. I am so sad I did not get to embrace you the last time I saw you - not that it would have kept you here with us. I just want a last time to let you know. I do know that your family held you dear, and you knew and shared their deep and abiding love.
You had traveled so far. It was so inspiring to see your strength and courage, striking out on your own. You had found your city, your school, your home, your work. It is a great loss not to see you journey forward.
My most recent happy memory was making guacamole together. I so appreciated your smile as you worked, the care you took in choosing and mixing the ingredients, the pride in your cutting skills, but most of all the desire to share the process with me and the creation with our guests. It was a simple thing, a simple creation, but it was like a hug.

Karen Jacobs

avril 21, 2020

Dear Brackett family,

I was so sorry to read about Sam. My loving thoughts and prayers go out to all of you at this time. I pray your memories of good times together help ease the pain. With love, Karen Jacobs

Erin Brackett

avril 20, 2020

I can’t remember for sure where we were, either the cape house or in Hamilton. Sam was probably 5 or 6 and he was sitting at the table singing “peanuuuut peanut butter and jelly!” I don’t know why this memory is so vivid in my mind. It’s such a mundane instance that I could have easily forgotten and never thought of again. But I’ve always remembered it. He was so joyful and vibrant and full of life. This is how I’ll keep him, until we meet again.