Some people come along, and their personalities are just larger than life. You can feel the positivity radiate from them.

For many in Maine, Chris Greeley was one of those people.

And it is with the heaviest of hearts that we inform you today that he passed away yesterday. He was 60 years old.

Over the many decades I have known Chris Greeley, I don't think I've ever had a single encounter with him, where I didn't walk away laughing or at the very least smiling. Always with a big grin on his face, Greeley made it his mission to try to improve life wherever he went.

He spent many years as a lawman, here in Maine. Most recently, the community of Holden got the benefit of having him as its chief of police.

Helping Veterans, Holden Maine Police Department Facebook
Helping Veterans, Holden Maine Police Department Facebook

Chief Greeley approached the job knowing that the people who usually met up with law enforcement agents were typically not having their best day. So he went out of his way to make sure that as much as possible, he and his crew would provide opportunities for the public to have positive interactions with the police.

He helped spearhead Holden's "25 Days of Kindness" program, where businesses and individuals donated goods and services, and Chief Greeley and his officers would gift those back to Holden community members (either to individuals or organizations) who were in need.

25 Days Sign, Holden Police Department Facebook
25 Days Sign, Holden Police Department Facebook

But it didn't stop there.

He was always donating his time, energy, and even money to help people across the state. Whether it was helping the Special Olympics, or a local food drive, Chief Greeley poured his heart and soul into not only protecting but literally serving people everywhere he went.

attachment-Chris Greeley 2, Cori Skall

Those who were lucky enough to know Greeley well were keenly aware of his hilarious sense of humor.

He had the ability to see the good, but also the funny in most situations. It's that great outlook and perspective on life that made him an effective and approachable policeman.

Growing up on a farm, he knew what it was like to work hard, and you could see that in the extra effort, he always put into things. He was the kind of guy who wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty.

Chief Greeley with Rogue Pig, Holden PD
Chief Greeley with Rogue Pig, Holden PD

As a husband, father, and friend, he knew the importance of staying connected and checking in. He went above and beyond t to invest time into his relationships. Versed in the aging art of sending personalized "Thank You" cards, and dropping in with little gifts or thoughts, Chris Greeley had a way of making everyone he knew feel special.

attachment-Chris Greeley 1, Cori Skall

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins was among those who paid tribute to Greeley.

"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," Collins said.

To many of us in the broadcasting world, Chris Greeley was a dear friend.

Personally, I've known Chris since I was in high school. Throughout the decades, since then, some of my favorite moments and conversations have involved Chris. He'd usually turn up at some charity event or public appearance we were holding, swap some hilarious stories, and always leave us with a face that hurt from smiling and laughing, and a generous donation to go towards whatever cause we were trying to help.

I am grateful that the last conversation I had with Chris was one of the most encouraging, positive, and hilarious chats we've ever had. To say he'll be missed is an understatement.

Thoughts from other broadcasters:

News Director Cindy Campbell - I first met Chris when he applied for a part-time job with our radio station many years ago. He never held it against me that I didn't hire him. In fact, over the years, Chris has become more of a friend than a news contact. We always looked forward to his visits to the station and would laugh about our conversations even after he'd left the building. One of the last times he came in, talking on the air about the Holden Police Department's 25 Days of Kindness,  Chris gave me a stuffed moose in plaid flannel. Today, it becomes one of my most prized possessions because it reminds me of a man who loved to laugh and lived to brighten the lives of others. Rest in peace, Chris. We already miss you.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chief Greeley's wife, Donna Gormley, his stepdaughters, Ali and Sam Gormley, his son, Cole Greeley, and his Brothers and Sisters in Law Enforcement.

A bright light has gone out in our neck of the woods, with the passing of Holden Police Chief Chris Greeley. Let's hope we can all step up and shine a little brighter in his honor.

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