HOLDEN, Maine — The Greater Bangor community is planning to gather Friday afternoon to celebrate the life and impact Holden police Chief Christian Greeley had in the region. Greeley died Thursday, March 9.
His funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, March 17.
Chief Greeley's wife, Donna, spoke at the service about their love story, their son, Cole, and his many involvements over the years, recalling a number of stories that explained who he was perfectly.
"Chris was really good at reinventing himself without losing himself. The saying goes jack of all trades master of none. I'm going to make an edit to that for my husband. Jack of all trades master of one, and that one is kindness," Donna said.
Throughout the service, there were emotional moments and some moments of laughter as his loved ones reflected on Chief Greeley's always cheerful personality.
Penobscot County Sheriff Troy Morton shared how he thinks Chief Greeley will be remembered.
"He impacted so many people in different ways. It wasn't just the law enforcement community but, you know, we can smile and laugh about the things that he did. I mean, Cosmopolitan guy, the boxer, the martial arts guy, a musical person, and more importantly a husband and a dad, and a friend to so many in so many different ways," Sheriff Morton said.
The police department made the announcement in a social media post on Friday, Mar. 10, saying his death came after a brief illness.
Greeley served the citizens of Penobscot County for more than 32 years. He was a patrol officer for the town of Veazie, Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Brewer, and finally, the town of Holden, according to the Facebook post.
Greeley started working as a patrol officer for the town of Holden in 2007. He worked his way through the ranks and was promoted to chief in September 2015, according to the department.
Police said Greeley started the 25 Days of Kindness program with a few hundred donated dollars and turned it into an event that raised over $25,000 last year.
He was also known by many for his part-time career as a fill-in host on the George Hale/Rick Tyler Radio Show, where he would often fill in throughout the year and interview a variety of guests.
"Chief Greeley’s humor, stories, and personality will be missed greatly by those of us who have known him for many years," the department wrote.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills ordered flags to be flown at half-staff Friday, March 17, throughout Penobscot and Hancock Counties, in addition to a directive ordering flags lowered until sunset Friday at the State Capitol and the town of Holden, a news release from the governor's office stated.
"Chris Greeley was a dedicated public servant, a wonderful colleague, and above all else, a good friend. The impact of his tireless work to make Maine a better place will be felt for generations to come," Mills wrote in the release. "On behalf of the people of Maine, I extend my condolences to Chris' family, friends, and all who loved him."
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, who has a home in Bangor, issued the following statement in response to Greeley's death:
“Holden Police Chief Chris Greeley was an extraordinary law enforcement official, community leader, and good friend. He constantly went above and beyond his duty to keep residents safe by coming up with a seemingly endless variety of ways to give back to those around him. From spearheading the annual 25 Days of Kindness, which allows Holden police officers to lend a helping hand to individuals and families who are less fortunate, to organizing a fundraiser for Sarah’s House, which provides hospitality to Mainers receiving cancer treatments, Chris leaves behind a powerful legacy of community service.
“I last saw Chris just two weeks ago, while he was guest co-hosting WVOM. Through his words as well as his actions, Chris demonstrated his devotion to others, earning him the trust and admiration of his officers and the affection of the community. His passing is a tremendous loss not only to the Holden Police Department, but also to the entire region. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his wife, Donna, as well as his entire family and many friends.”