Matthew David Bouchea

SACO – Matthew David Bouchea, died unexpectedly at 44 years of age in Saco on June 16, 2021. Matthew was born at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bangor on April 22, 1977. He was the beloved son of Edward Bouchea of Hampden and Ada Guarino and her husband, Joseph Guarino of Exeter, N.H.

He leaves behind his heartbroken siblings Jeff Bouchea and his wife Felicia, of Saco, Heather Cronin and her husband David Cronin, of Dover, N.H., Mark Bouchea and his wife Tricia Coia, of Newburyport, Mass., and his sister, Christine Bouchea and her husband Silas Laycock, of Newburyport, Mass. In addition, he is survived by his loving nephew, Henry Cronin, and his sweet nieces Madeine, Lily and Clara Laycock.

Matt was raised in Bangor in a busy household filled with his siblings, childhood school friends, and playground friends from friendships forged in summer evening kickball games at Fairmount Park. As a very young child, Matt never wanted to hurt anyone’s feelings and would often refuse an offer of food or a game, softly saying “I don’t want to, okay?, no,” which became a meaningful term in the family lexicon as “nowanakayno”. Matthew also added his term for crunchy peanut butter, which he termed “peanut butter with bones in it’, and which he disliked greatly. He was kind and playful as a toddler, and enjoyed being pushed around the neighborhood by his older siblings in a well-worn green umbrella stroller. He engaged in the occasional playful roughhousing with his big brother, Mark, during tackle football games in the upstairs hallway of his childhood home. Matt went on to develop a close, lifelong camaraderie with Mark and his eldest brother, Jeff.

Matt developed a close, lifelong relationship with his sister, Christine, and together they became referred to in the family as the “little ones.” His sister, Heather, was often charged with caring for Matt and Christine in the afternoons after school before their mother came home from work. When he became too rambunctious, Heather would declare that Matt was “in jail” and he was forced to sit next to her on the couch and watch the Bold and the Beautiful until he was calm. Matt took his revenge on Heather for all of that time in “jail” on the occasional evening when she needed to put him to bed when he feigned that evil spirits possessed him, exclaiming, “Heather, I’m not Matt.” Well played, Matt! His gentle soul and kind heart were apparent in so many family stories, they would fill volumes.

Matthew graduated from Bangor High School in 1995 and the University of Maine at Orono in 1999. Matthew was passionate about his work as a social worker, particularly in efforts he made on behalf of children with whom he worked to help and protect in difficult situations. Matt worked for the state of Maine for many years in his role of social worker for Child Protective Services. He was valued for his integrity, compassion, and work ethic throughout his time there.

Matt found joy in so many things in this world! He cherished time with family, particularly his nieces and nephew, all of whom never failed to elicit hearty laughter from him. Matt brought his sense of humor to every family get together, including during a raucous family dance party in a decorated shed after Mark and Trish’s wedding!

On Christmas mornings, Matt was a content observer of his nieces and nephew, their antics and their gales of laughter when he played with them.

He adored spending quiet visits with his parents and discussing politics, books, and movies with them. Matt loved a well-written book, complete with aptly chosen words and witty turns of phrase. He cherished time reading a meaty novel which required a dictionary at hand to carefully decipher some challenging text. He enjoyed talking about books with family, and sharing his latest literary finds.

Matthew also enjoyed good bands and a wide variety of musical genres. He often made copies and mixes of the music he loved with different family members in mind as recipients of his creations.

Matt was a devout Red Sox, Celtics, and Patriots fan, and enjoyed their successes for many years. Matt devoured homemade meals at family gatherings and barbecues, and freely and abundantly complemented the family cooks.

Matthew was a super-hero in plain clothes. He truly was. His short life was filled with efforts to spread joy to those around him without hesitation. Matt was generous with his thoughts, ideas, and love, and he leaves a deep and unfillable hole in our hearts and family history forever.

Private services will be held for the family. Burial will be in the Exeter Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held and announced at a later date.

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