A Monmouth man who worked as a 911 dispatcher in Winthrop and as a part-time police officer in two other central Maine towns died at his home Thanksgiving morning after suffering an unexpected medical emergency.

Mathew Guilfoyle, 38, was with his wife, Nicole, and their baby daughter, Eleanor, when he died, according to friends of the family. On Monday, those friends remembered Guilfoyle as exceptionally kind and loyal, if occasionally strong-headed.

“It’s a shock,” said Chief Scott MacMaster of the Richmond Police Department, where Guilfoyle worked as a part-time officer. “It’s extremely sad. Matt was one of those silent heroes you don’t hear much about.”

In addition to working as a part-time officer in Richmond and as a dispatcher in the Winthrop Police Department, Guilfoyle also served as constable in his hometown of Farmingdale.

MacMaster, who has known Guilfoyle for about 25 years, said the cause of his death has not been confirmed, but that it may have been a heart attack.

MacMaster was the best man at Guilfoyle’s wedding. Before working together in Richmond, both also served in the Greenville Police Department.

“We were pretty close,” MacMaster said. “He was a strong personality, oftentimes opinionated but extremely caring, loving and loyal. If I had to pick one word to completely sum him up, it would just be loyal. He was always my go-to guy when things were down and out.”

When MacMaster’s sons were born and when his own wife died after a battle with cancer, Guilfoyle comforted him, “only saying things when they needed to be said, not being overbearing,” he said.

Representatives from the Winthrop Police Department also expressed their condolences in a post on the department’s Facebook page, writing, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of (part-time dispatcher Guilfoyle), who we lost on Thanksgiving day. Mathew was a great friend, co-worker and more importantly a great husband and great dad. We will miss him.”

In the wake of Guilfoyle’s death, family friends have created an online fundraiser on the website You Caring for the memorial and household expenses that his wife and daughter will now face. Heidi McDonald, who has been friends with Nicole since childhood, spearheaded the fundraiser.

Charles Eichacker can be contacted at 621-5642 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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