Paterson sculptor Bill Cummins will be remembered for having a "heart of gold" with his generous nature forever preserved by the dozens of his artworks dotted across the Hunter.
Mr Cummins passed away peacefully at his home last week, reading a book and watching television, his friend Bob Cotton said.
"He will be remembered as a man with a heart of gold who was generous beyond his means," said Mr Cotton.
"He was generous to a fault. He would give and give and give to anyone and everyone.
"If kindness was currency he would be one of the richest men in the world."
Mr Cummins was an articulate and intelligent man who spoke openly about his long battle with depression after physical and psychological abuse as a child at the hands of the Catholic Church.
Mr Cotton said the emotional scars of being told he was "stupid" as a child were part of his suffering.
If kindness was currency he would be one of the richest men in the world.Bob Cotton
"He had an incredible intellect, one minute talking about fishing hunting and shooting, he was a brilliant marksman, then go to talk about the golden ratio, the Vitruvian Man or the square root of Pi.
"He would lose people with his brilliance."
Mr Cummins' legacy is tangible with him previously having donated sculptures to the Paterson Public School, preschool and the football club. His dinosaur in water greets visitors on the way in to Paterson and there are at least 50 of his pelican sculptures dotted around Paterson.
He created an eight-metre stellated icosahedron and dedicated it to all survivors of abuse which he hoped would be installed in a prominent public place for others to visit.
"It stands as a monument to Bill's compassion for those who have suffered," said Mr Cotton.
Earlier this year when Mr Cummins was struggling financially while he was waiting Dungog Council approval for a boundary readjustment so he could sell his property, the community rallied. Because of the way his company was structured he was unable to access Centrelink and was divesting himself of assets to survive. The community helped bring his property up to standard for sale which was finalised weeks before his death.
"I've never met anyone like him, he was just the most generous, kind loving decent human being I've every struck," said Mr Cotton.
"All his life he had been in it for the underdog which was reflected in his artwork."
Penny Northey who had worked for Mr Cummins for 15 years and remained close to him said he was a great mentor to young people.
Mr Cummins is survived by his children Rayleen and Liam. Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalised.