In his last Facebook post, Armand Collins Jr. let friends know he was home from the rehabilitation center, where he was recovering from back surgery. He thanked his wife for her help, wished people a good day, and said he hoped to hear from someone.

Less than eight hours later, Mr. Collins was rushed to Maine Medical Center after suffering cardiac arrest and brain swelling. He died two days later on Sunday, surrounded by family and friends. He was 44.

Mr. Collins was remembered this week as a kind, caring and compassionate man who saw the positive in everything.

“I learned so much about the human spirit from him,” said Julie Suiter, a close friend from South Portland. “He was always willing to give whatever he had, even if it was his last dollar. He was always willing to do for someone else.”

Mr. Collins’ depth of compassion and gratitude for others was remarkable considering the adversity he faced in his youth.

According to friends, Mr. Collins grew up in western Maine and lived in various foster homes throughout his youth. He suffered abuse in at least one of the foster homes.

He attended Oxford Hills High School and was a standout on the school’s wrestling team, before being sent to live at Day One, a substance abuse treatment facility for adolescents. He graduated from the Day One program.

Shelby Briggs, a longtime friend who attended Day One with him, said he rocked at Day One.

“All of us came from horrific situations, but his was beyond what most of us could comprehend,” Briggs said. “Armand became something. He became something to a lot of people. You don’t expect someone in the peril he was in to be able to look at the world with innocent, simple, loving and compassionate eyes.”

Mr. Collins worked as a cook throughout his life. He began cooking at Day One, and held cooking jobs at several hotels in the Portland area, including the Holiday Inn and the Marriott.

“He couldn’t really read or write, but he could cook,” Suiter said.

Mr. Collins was a proud family man. He was married to Tracy Collins for nearly two years. He was a father to two children, Kaylee Nadeau and Donna Moreno, both from previous relationships. He also leaves a stepson, Bentley Hollingshead, and one grandchild, Gabby. A photo posted on Facebook shows Mr. Collins standing proudly with his daughter Donna Moreno, on the day of her graduation from high school.

“He loved his kids,” his wife said. “He was just an all-around good guy. He was good with kids and good with animals.” Mr. Collins had three cats and a dog.

On Thursday, his friends talked openly about his struggles with depression and substance abuse. Friends say he had long periods of sobriety throughout the years and regularly attended 12-step meetings. He also shared his story with others.

But Mr. Collins struggled to stay sober. Suiter said he usually relapsed after getting into a relationship. He would stop going to meetings and put his recovery on the back burner, she said.

“The people in the recovery community were his family,’ Suiter said. “He drew strength from them. He drew pride and gained confidence. It was an outlet for him to be the person he wanted to be.”

Dozens of his friends have turned to Facebook to share stories and photos of him.

In one of those photos, Mr. Collins is standing with a group of friends on a recovery retreat.

Nick Horton, a close friend who was with him when he died, wrote the following on Facebook:

“…We told him we loved him. We held him and told him it was okay to go. I am truly sorry for everyone’s loss. He was an amazing, loving and super sweet guy and he will be greatly missed.”

Mr. Collins’ services have not been finalized.