Cover photo for Arnold G. Gahagan Jr.'s Obituary
Arnold G. Gahagan Jr. Profile Photo

Arnold G. Gahagan Jr.

April 15, 1941 — June 24, 2024

Caribou

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Caribou- Arnold G. Gahagan Jr. (Arnie) 83, passed away June 24, 2024, after a brief illness at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. Arnie was born in Fort Fairfield, Maine on April 15, 1941, the son of the late Arnold and Hazel (Dorsey) Gahagan, he was a graduate of the Caribou High School.

After graduation Arnie joined the Caribou Police Department. In 1961 he went on to serve in the United State Marine Corps for five years before being discharged as a Sergeant in 1966.

While Arnie was on leave from Marines he applied and interviewed with the Maine State Police all within one week. Arnie was hired and did his police training at Camp Keyes in Augusta, Maine, and was assigned to Troop J in Machias. Arnie patrolled the backroads and byways of Washington County for 5 yrs. He was so good at his job he received the nick name of “The Hawk” because he could swoop in and catch the perpetrator before they knew it. In those early years he worked 6 days a week and then on his day off he would do reports or wash his cruiser.

In 1971, Arnie was transferred to Troop F in Aroostook County, patrolling the Caribou area.

In 1973, Arnie received the Maine State Police Citation for Bravery for his actions that saved a Loring Airman from drowning in the Madawaska Stream in April. Arnie stayed in the cold rushing water for over three hours holding on to the individual before help could arrive.

In 1975, Arnie was promoted to Corporal, and then in 1978 he was promoted to Detective with the Criminal Investigation Division. In 1984 Arnie became the first non-uniform officer for the State Police to receive “Trooper of the Year Award” for his outstanding work. 

In 2015, Arnie was the recipient of The Maine State Police Legendary Trooper Award, the highest award that any Maine State Trooper can receive. At the time Maine State Police Colonel Robert Williams said “Gahagan was considered one of the State Police’s expert child abuse investigators and he was involved in every major State Police investigation in Aroostook County from 1978 to his retirement in 1994”. 

Following his Maine State Police retirement, Arnie worked for United States Customs and Immigration assigned to the Aroostook ports of entry for 10 years.

Arnie was not done serving the State of Maine or Aroostook County. In 1998 Arnie join the Aroostook County District Attorney office as a Victim/Witness Advocate, where he would interview and counsel victims/witnesses and prepare them for court.

Arnie was past President of the International Police Association. He was on the Board of Directors of the Maine Retired Troopers Organization. Arnie established the first law enforcement education program at the Caribou Vocational School. He was a Member of the VFW Lister Knowlton Post 9389 in Caribou. He was also a past member of the Caribou Volunteer Fire Department and Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office. 

Arnie and his wife Ruth of 32 years most of which was spent living at Madawaska Lake, enjoyed swimming, sailing, canoeing, and snowmobiling. They looked forward to cruises, traveling, and spending time visiting with old Marine friends and State Police buddies as well as special friends Andy and Al. He loved all his dogs and his one cat Epiphany. They attended St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Stockholm where they participated in many church activities. 

Most of all Arnie enjoyed his family and getting together, where old stories were told and laughter was abundant. Arnie was a great storyteller about his long law enforcement career and his time in the Marine Corp. Arnie enjoyed the time with his sons and brothers at the hunting camp at Cross Lake yearly.

Arnie is survived by his wife of 32 years, Ruth Gahagan of Caribou, his two sons, Arnold Gahagan III (Bucky) and his wife Estelle and his only grandson Gabe all of Pushaw Lake Glenburn, Mark Gahagan and companion Jan Hermann of Caribou. He is also survived by three brothers and one sister, William Gahagan, Michael Gahagan and his wife Ann all of Caribou, Patricia Durepo and husband Paul, Danny Gahagan and his wife Cathy all of Limestone, many nieces and nephews.

Bucky and Mark put out an announcement about their fathers passing, they wrote:

“Early this morning we had to say goodbye to our Dad. His whole life he protected and served as a Marine, Maine State Trooper (his dream Job), US Customs Agent and victim/witness advocate (his passion). He fought hard to stay however God has other plans. While we will miss him dearly every day, we will cherish all the great laughs, memories and times we had together. The family loves you and thanks you for being there for all of us”.

Arnie had a profound impact on the lives of his friends and family and his passing leaves a large hole in the hearts of so many around him and throughout the state.

Relatives and friends are invited to call 4-7PM on Friday July 12, 2024, at Mockler Funeral Home, 24 Reservoir Street, Caribou. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Saturday, July 13, 2024, at 11:00 AM, at the Parish of the Precious Blood Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 34 Vaughn Street, Caribou. Interment will follow in the Evergreen Cemetery, Caribou. A time of continued fellowship and refreshments will be held following the service at Lister-Knowlton VFW Post 9389, Van Buren Road, Caribou. 

Arnie’s family would like to thank the Doctors and Nurses of the ICU of both Cary Medical Center and Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, for the outstanding care and compassion that was given to Arnie during his last days. 

In lieu of flowers, those that wish may contribute, in memory of Arnie to the “Maine Retired Troopers Organization”, 7 Ocean View Road, Kennebunk, Maine 04043-7226 care of Mr. Breen Savage, or donate to a charity of your choice.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Arnold G. Gahagan Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Visitation

Friday, July 12, 2024

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Mass

Saturday, July 13, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Holy Rosary Catholic Church

34 Vaughn Street
Caribou, ME 04736

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