Riverhead police officer Ben Goodale dies at 42


Update: Funeral arrangements have been set for Riverhead Town police officer Benjamin Goodale, the father of two who died Tuesday.

Visitation will be held at the McLaughlin Heppner funeral home in Riverhead from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, funeral home officials said. Services will be held at the Old Steeple Community Church in Aquebogue at 11 a.m. Saturday. 

Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Original story: Benjamin Goodale, a Riverhead Town police officer and father of two, died suddenly of an apparent heart attack Tuesday morning, striking another blow to a community recovering from the loss of one of their own last week.

Mr. Goodale, a 17-year veteran of the force and Calverton resident, suffered a heart attack at home, police officials said. He was 42 years old.

“It’s just unbelievable,” said police officer and Police Benevolent Association president Dixon Palmer. “He was a great family man, and a good friend of the guys. The whole department … they’re taking it really hard.”

Mr. Goodale is survived by his wife, Katherine, and two young children, Mr. Palmer said.

In addition to his work in the department, Mr. Goodale was also a cook at police events, where he often grilled chicken and ribs for his fellow officers. He also played on the department’s softball team when he wasn’t on patrol.

“He was one of the guys you wanted to have back you up,” Mr. Palmer said. “[The kind of] guy that you were proud to work with.”

Mr. Goodale’s death comes one week after Riverhead police detective and longtime member of the force Robert Boden died of a blood clot in his lung. Hundreds attended Mr. Boden’s funeral to honor the detective last week.

“We’ve never had to deal with two, like this especially,” Mr. Palmer said. “He was a cop’s cop, just like Bobby Boden.”

Funeral arrangements for Mr. Goodale have not yet been arranged.

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