Norman C. Hunt passed away the day after his 81st birthday, on the afternoon of Aug. 25, 2023, at the Sussman House in Rockport, after a long period of declining health.
Norman was born in his parent’s farmhouse on Aug. 24, 1942, in Newcastle. As a young boy, he grew up on a small dairy farm with five brothers. He was involved in 4-H, and as a teenager he went to the national farm tractor driving championships.
Even at a young age, Norman was active in his community. He attended Lincoln Academy, graduating as president of his class of 1961, and winning the Achievement Cup for his class. He pursued a B.A. degree in mathematics at Nasson College and was also president of his class three out of four years.
After college, Norman had plans to go to work for IBM in Alaska. In the summer after he graduated college, he became passionate about working with his father in a small sawmill, selling building materials in Midcoast Maine, located on the current day Main Street Grocery and Hancock property in Damariscotta. Over the next 15 years he helped build one of the largest lumber companies in Maine, Hunt Brothers Inc., with two sawmills and eventually three retail stores.
Norman was very active in politics and local government. In the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, he supported the Lincoln Democratic Party. He was known for hosting Democratic county lobster bakes. In the 1970s, he was invited by President Jimmy Carter to go to Washington, D.C. to speak on economic conditions of the time. In 1983, Norman won an award for economic forecasting for the years of 1984-1985 from State Street Bank in Boston.
In 1970, Norman married Judith Pulsifer and had four children: Richard, Lisa, Susanne, and Robert. During this time, Norman earned an excellent reputation in the lumber-retail industry. He was a founder of Damariscotta Bank and Trust, as well as on the board of directors for Coastal Enterprises Inc. in Wiscasset. He served on the board of the Finance Authority of Maine, representing the interests of Maine’s forest industry. Norman served in countless other community boards and organizations, helping many people. He was initially on the Newcastle Fire Department, joined the Damariscotta Lions Club, and was a member of the Bunker Hill Grange.
By 1980, Norman took over one of the larger-sized pine mills previously owned by Dead River in Princeton, which had been providing 85 local jobs along with supporting logging and transportation in nearby small businesses in that area. In the fall of 1980, he moved his family to the mill site and proceeded to run both businesses, spending half his time in Princeton and the other half in Damariscotta. He used his pilot’s license to commute between the two places. In 1981, Norman left Hunt Brothers Inc. and stayed in Princeton full time to run Quoddy Lumber. Unfortunately, one year later, a devastating fire burnt the sawmill to the ground. Norman rebuilt a smaller sawmill on site with insurance from the original sawmill fire and ran it for several more years.
In 1984, Norman brought his family home to Newcastle. He and his wife started a new business on Center Street in Nobleboro, and in 1985 named it N.C. Hunt Inc. In 1989, Norman began construction on a new sawmill in Jefferson, using mill equipment from previous years with the help from his father, Eldon, and his youngest son, Robert. After the sawmill got up and running, he worked hard over the next few years building the business back up to two retail lumber yards, a sawmill, trucking, and excavation.
By 1990, Norman switched political parties and became active in Republican Party politics. You could always find him involved in state and county politics and community organizations to advocate for job opportunities. Norman always spoke from his heart for better or worse.
He continued to be very active through 2021. Over those 30 years, Norman, and later his son, Robert, ran N.C. Hunt Inc. Through the economic hardships, Norman’s early experience with economic forecasting allowed the company to diversify and get through some difficult times. In 2019, N.C. Hunt Inc. suffered another sawmill fire, but this time Norman helped his son rebuild the sawmill with the support of the community.
From 2020-2022, Norman was able to take some time away from the company to enjoy his hobbies including ice fishing, haying, and spending time with his family on Damariscotta Lake. He also took a trip to Alaska and enjoyed spending time with his wife and family in Lubec. He became very passionate in his later years about Wreaths Across America from one of his customers, Morrill Worcester, founder of this organization. Norman helped deliver wreaths to veterans’ graves across the country by donating one of N.C. Hunt’s rigs to carry thousands of wreaths every December. For him, it was one of the most meaningful organizations in which he participated.
He continued to be involved in the Grange and Lions Club. During his 56 years in the Lions Club, he received the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship Award and rose as high as deputy district governor. He and his wife, Judith, were very active in the last 10 years serving in the Whitefield Lions Club, and often would be seen volunteering at the Lions Club fundraisers and the concessions stand at Windsor Fair. He was also active in the Bunker Hill Preserve the View organization.
In 2022, Norman’s son bought out N.C. Hunt Inc. after years of working side by side with his father. Unfortunately, Norman’s health started to decline in 2023. In June of 2023, Norman was selected to receive the 2023 Alumnus of the Year Award by the Lincoln Academy Alumni. It is an award recognizing his lifetime of significant accomplishments in his profession and service to the larger community. His son, Robert, accepted this award on his behalf as he was too ill to be present.
He was dearly loved by his family and friends, and will be missed by the local communities. Norman is survived by his wife of 53 years, Judith P. Hunt; his oldest son, Richard, and his wife, Fonnie; his daughter, Lisa Hunt; his daughter, Susanne Smith-Pinkham and her, husband Jesse Smith-Pinkham; and youngest son, Robert, and wife, Katie; 13 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren; brother, Wilder Hunt, and his wife, Ellen; as well as sisters-in-law, Cyndy Hunt, Karent Hunt, and Chris Hunt.
He was predeceased by his father, Eldon Hunt; and mother, Beryl Hunt; and brothers, Raymond, Forest, and Donny Hunt.
The Hunt Family will be holding visiting hours from 5-7 p.m., on Friday, Sept. 22 at the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home in Damariscotta. A funeral for Norman will be held at 2 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 23 at the First Baptist Church of Waldoboro (by Moody’s Diner) with refreshments to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to any one of Norman’s favorite organizations, including the Whitefield Lions Club, P.O. Box 52, Coopers Mills, ME 04353; and/or Wreaths Across America, P.O. Box 249, Columbia Falls, ME 04623.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main St., Damariscotta, ME 04543. Condolences, and messages for Norman’s family, may be expressed by visiting stronghancock.com.