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Celebrated Maine artist Normand Martin died at 95

Family, friends and community remember legendary artist best known for designing world-famous Paul Bunyan statue in Bangor.

BANGOR, Maine — EDITORS NOTE: The above video was published early this year on J. Normand Martin's 95th birthday.

J. Normand Martin, the legendary artist best known for designing the world-famous Paul Bunyan statue in Bangor died Friday. He was 95. His family confirmed the passing to NEWS CENTER Maine.

In February, NEWS CENTER Maine's Hannah Yechivi sat down with Martin on his 95th birthday while he was being recognized by the city of Bangor for his world-renowned work and this is what he had to say about the popular landmark: "No matter where I go in the state of Maine, I'll just drop a little hint now and then you know...invariably they say 'oh yeah of course we've seen it!' So that's kind of fun, I come close to feeling like a big shot!" Martin told us in a recent interview. 

The best part, he celebrated that big day by eating a piece of a huge Paul Bunyan cake.

Credit: J. Normand Martin, Jr

His family says his father's achievements are directly related to their family's upbringing. 

"Like many, his family endured scarcity through the 1930’s yet persevered with a thriving woolen mill and farm where he and his siblings embraced their lifelong, determined work ethic." 

Martin was the eleventh child of fifteen children raised in Madawaska by parents Denis and Alphonsine (Raymond). 

While the world may remember Martin for designing the legendary lumberjack, his family, friends and community remember him best for ‘his quiet contributions.'

Martin established a successful fundraiser for the Bangor Lion’s Club, led the Bangor Sidewalk Arts Festival, and inspired artists around the world.