On Friday, conservative writer and pundit Bre Payton tragically passed away at just 26 years old from a sudden illness.
A rising star on the right, Bre worked as a staff writer at The Federalist, co-hosted the “Problematic Women” podcast, and was a frequent guest on outlets like Fox News Channel, Fox Business Channel, and One America News Network.
Bre, a California native, was in San Diego when her friend found her unresponsive and barely breathing early Thursday morning. The 26-year-old was admitted to the ICU at a local hospital and tragically passed away on Friday. Doctors, according to Payton’s family, determined that she had H1N1 flu and encephalitis.
“Around 8:30, on December 27th, Bre’s friend went into her room and found her unresponsive and barely breathing. She immediately called 911 and Bre was taken to the hospital where she was admitted to the ICU, sedated & intubated, and doctors began working up a diagnosis,” reads “Bre’s Story” on CaringBridge.org.
George Payton, Bre’s father, stayed with her at the hospital as she fought for her life, though, tragically, her condition worsened and she slipped away on Friday.
Thank you everyone for your prayers. It is with a heavy heart that I type this. Unfortunately Bre has passed. Please send prayers to her family. Rest in paradise you beautiful soul. https://t.co/pMFCZNaqKl
— Morgan Murtaugh (@morganmurtaugh) December 28, 2018
The Federalist posted a brief obituary for their beloved staff writer on Friday. The post reads in part: “Though we are heartbroken and devastated by Bre’s death, we are comforted in the knowledge that she was a woman who lived a life marked by deep Christian faith, trusting in her Savior, Jesus Christ – in the God who promises the way our story ends is that ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more.'”
Colleagues and others touched by Bre reacted to the tragic news on social media:
My podcast co-host. My Problematic Woman in crime. My birthday twin. My very dear friend. At just 26, @Bre_payton was youger than me, but felt more like my big sister. I am in complete shock that we lost this beautiful soul, and am comforted only by the faith she had in the Lord. pic.twitter.com/8rUNejejdu
— Kelsey Harkness (@kelseyjharkness) December 28, 2018
I love and miss @Bre_payton so very much. So immensely grateful for her. Thank you everyone for the support and kind words. Hug your loved ones.
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) December 29, 2018
Bre Payton passed away from a sudden illness. Bre is one of the kindest, most thoughtful souls I've ever encountered. She made a positive impact on every person she met, her smile, her love of LIFE, God, & passion for news was contagious. SHE WILL be missed! Pray for her family. pic.twitter.com/fPjifm65QS
— Stephanie Hamill (@STEPHMHAMILL) December 28, 2018
We are devastated and heartbroken by the news of Bre Payton's death today. She was kind, gentle, and joyful. Our only comfort is the knowledge that she is now peacefully resting in the arms of her Savior. We grieve her loss deeply, but rejoice in her eternal salvation in Christ.
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) December 28, 2018
A scholarship fund has been created by George and Cindy Payton in their daughter’s name.
“In loving memory of Bre’s beautiful light, joyful spirit, hard-working ethics, and compassionate heart. This fund will go towards college scholarships to support other young, rising Christian leaders who share in Bre’s passion for truth, purpose, and life,” says the GoFundMe page.
Bre “has gone to be with the Lord,” it adds. “Her memory will live on by her four siblings and parents. At this time we ask that you keep her family uplifted in prayer and know that we will see her again.”
Bre is survived by four younger siblings — James, Jack, Christina, and Cheekie — and her parents George and Cindy, and her boyfriend Ryan Colby.
Please consider donating to the scholarship fund, here.