SANGERVILLE, Maine — Family, friends and co-workers gathered at Townhouse Cemetery to pay their last respects to Michael Curtis on Friday morning.
Curtis was shot and killed by Maine State Police Trooper Jon Brown after a standoff with police at the Piscataquis County Fairgrounds in Dover-Foxcroft on Nov. 29. Curtis, 46, had shot and killed Udo Schneider of Sangerville at Hilltop Manor earlier that morning.
Curtis had been a member of the Dover-Foxcroft and Sangerville fire departments and worked for the Mayo Regional Hospital emergency medical service team before becoming a dispatcher for the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office, where he was employed at the time of his death. He also had served with the Dover-Foxcroft, Milo and Greenville police departments, according to his obituary.
Many fire department and sheriff’s personnel attended the graveside service, which was led by the Rev. Ray Beless, a pastor for the Abbot Evangelical Free Church. About 200 people turned out for the burial service, said Beless, who is also the chaplain for Mayo Regional Hospital and the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office.
Rick Pembroke, deputy chief of the Dover-Foxcroft Fire Department, was the only guest interested in talking with the news media after the service.
“The whole thing is just crazy because it wasn’t Mike,” Pembroke said of the events of Nov. 29. “That’s what everyone is struggling with. We’re trying to celebrate Mike for who Mike was.”
Pembroke said he had many fond memories of Curtis.
“There’s hundreds of [stories] between the fire service and the fun times with Mike,” said Pembroke. “There’s just a bunch of stories I could tell about Mike, and they’re all good.”
Pembroke shared an instance where Curtis had a big impact on the community.
“He was very instrumental in fundraising to get the Jaws of Life to come to Dover-Foxcroft,” said said. “He really worked hard to get the money to get the Jaws here.”
Pembroke added that Curtis was always a hard worker.
“His dedication to the fire service was second to none. The guy’s put the Fire Department in front of his family at times. That’s how dedicated he was to it.”