BANGOR — Luke Gross was a dedicated sheriff’s deputy, but he was a big kid at heart whose premature death leaves a gaping hole in a family and its community. That’s what Gross’ widow, Lauren, told those gathered at a funeral that drew hundreds to Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Thursday.

“Life was always an adventure to him, and I’m not ready for that adventure to end,” she said. “I hope the kids and I are able to carry on his legacy and continue to make him proud.”

Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputy Luke Gross Photo courtesy of Hancock County Sheriff’s Department

Gross, 44, a veteran Hancock County sheriff’s deputy, was struck and killed by a pickup truck while responding to a car crash in Trenton on Sept. 23.

His two children, Alissa and Ryan, remembered their father as a dad who was always willing to drop what he was doing to play a game or have a Nerf gun fight, and possessed a world class bearhug. Hancock County Sheriff Scott Kane shed tears while going through the alphabet describing one of Gross’s best qualities with each letter.

Most were about Gross’ kindness and empathy, and his fondness for jokes.

“Y – young at heart. Luke always thought of himself as a 10-year-old who loved life,” Kane said.

Gross was an 18-year member of the sheriff’s office. No one will be assigned Gross’ call number in the future, Kane said.

He had been called to the scene of a crash in Trenton near the Ellsworth line in the early morning hours of Sept. 23. Gross parked his cruiser in the breakdown lane with emergency lights activated to investigate the crash, police said.

He was picking up debris from the road at 5:15 a.m. when he was struck from behind by the pickup truck, police said. Police have said the driver of the truck is unlikely to face charges and has been cooperating with an investigation into the crash.

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