Condolences and praise for reporter Christopher Cousins and his work poured into the Bangor Daily News on Wednesday as news of his death spread.
Cousins, 42, of South Paris died Wednesday of a heart attack.
From the politicians to the ordinary Mainers he wrote about to his competitors, Cousins was universally respected and admired.
U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King
“Chris was a consummate professional who embodied the best ideals of journalism: a devotion to the truth, a tenacious pursuit of stories important to Mainers, and a passion for the communities he served. His loss leaves a hole that will be felt by his family and friends, by his colleagues at the Bangor Daily News, and by his readers, who relied on Chris’s insightful reporting to better understand our state. Chris was a genuine, caring person and a true family man, and we are heartbroken for his wife and two young children.”
U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree
“I’m so saddened to hear of Chris Cousins’ sudden passing. I, like thousands of Mainers, loved reading his columns and the thoughtful way he’d talk about being a father to his sons. My thoughts are with his family and his colleagues at the Bangor Daily News during this difficult time.”
U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin
“This is really sad news today. Chris was such a talented reporter and a loving father. I’ve worked with Chris for the better part of a decade. He had a devotion to his craft like so few do, and always with kindness and a smile. He will surely be missed by so many in the state of Maine.”
State Senate President Michael Thibodeau
“Stacy and I are deeply saddened by the untimely passing of Chris Cousins. As a veteran State House reporter, he set high standards for fairness, accuracy and professionalism. At the same time, he was a kind and thoughtful individual, and by all accounts a wonderful father. Chris will be greatly missed in Augusta. My thoughts are with Chris’ wife and family.”
State House Speaker Sara Gideon
“Difficult to express the shock and disbelief at the unexpected passing of @Storytiller [Cousins’ Twitter handle]. He was a smart and tenacious journalist and I always enjoyed our conversations. My deepest condolences to his family.”
Former Gov. John Baldacci
“Chris always had a smile on his face. When there was a plant closing and we were trying to get it going again, he always put the interests of the people in the community first. He always cared deeply about the people who were laid off looking for work. My sympathies go out to his family.”
Maine Attorney General Janet Mills
“Like thousands of people across Maine, I am deeply saddened by Chris’ passing. Chris was a gifted journalist, a loving father and husband, and a good friend. With a pencil always at the ready, his wry and inquisitive smile was a welcome presence in every corner of the legislative and political universe of Maine. He established himself as a stalwart presence at the State House, waiting out the long and often grueling hours of legislative process to get the unique angle on a story and to collect the insight that made him such a stand-out reporter. He did his job the old-fashioned way: by working hard and by being someone who people liked talking to. I extend my deepest sympathy to Chris’ family, friends, loved ones, and the entire Bangor Daily News and Maine journalism community, whom I know he cherished so dearly. I will miss him.”
Phil Bartlett, Maine Democratic Party Chairman
“We are so deeply saddened by the passing of Chris Cousins. Chris was a true professional who was adored and respected by his colleagues and everyone at the State House. He was a wonderful person who will be sorely missed.
“Our thoughts are with his colleagues at the The Bangor Daily News, his friends, and his family who he so lovingly wrote of every day.”
BDN reader Luke Dylan Jensen
“Very sad to hear that Chris Cousins has passed away. I enjoyed literally every single article of his that I came across, and will miss reading his humanist tidbits at the end of the Daily Brief. Thoughts to his family and the @bangordailynews staff.”
Reporter Steve Mistler, Maine Public
“The State House press corps in Maine is a tight-knit group. Sure, we compete against each other and occasionally squabble with one another. But we fight the same fight for the same purpose, while all making the same sacrifices to friends and family. And that’s why we care so deeply for one another. Chris made this bond especially easy. One of the kindest people I’ve ever met.
“This is a devastating, gutting loss … for Chris’s family, his coworkers, his readers, his friends — and all of us. RIP, buddy.”
Tim Feeley, spokesman for the Maine Attorney General’s Office
“My last memory of him is that we both knew the best place to sit in the House Chamber on a hot day. We parked on the bench next to the air conditioner exchange during the last active day of the special session. He was funny and I always told him more than I should.”