Matthew Blake Thornton peacefully left this world on Feb. 2, 2012, at his home in Stockton Springs. He was born March 16, 1947, in Concord, Mass., and spent most of his growing-up years in neighboring Lexington, Mass., where he attended elementary school.

In 1960, the family moved to a farmhouse in Raymond, and Matt immediately became known to everyone. He soon became involved with the local fire department, including nearby Poland Spring, and also became responsible for 70 acres of blueberry fields.

The family then went to reside in South Portland, which was nearer to the workplace of Matt’s dad. A final move brought Matt to his ancestral Stockton Springs family home in 1970. While Matt was attending the Stockton schoolhouse, he was branded with the name “Mugsy,” which stayed with him till the end.

By 1979, he was a proud member of the Stockton Springs Volunteer Fire Department, which became his second home. Matt put in more than 30 continuous years there, and established himself as a reliable, resourceful, always-there member of the force. He responded to every call, including the serious 1985 fire started by sparks from a passing train.

We will all remember his selfless and generous spirit, his willingness to reach out a helping hand to everyone he met.

Matt is survived by his brothers, John Richards Thornton of Alexandria, Va., Douglas Stewart Thornton of Chicago; nephew, Scott Douglas Thornton, and niece, Abby Alice Thornton, both of Madison, Wis.; niece, Doriana Caroline Thornton of Alexandria, Va., as well as many close friends made over the years.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. at Riposta Funeral Home, 182 Waldo Ave. in Belfast, with Pastor George Finnemore presiding. Burial will be held at a later date.

Donations in Matt’s name may be made to the Stockton Springs Fire Department, PO Box 339, Stockton Springs, ME 04981. Online condolences can be made at ripostafh.com.