PORTLAND, Maine – A Maine man lovingly known as Portland’s “Valentine’s Day Bandit,” who hung hearts around the city every Feb. 14, has died, his family announced.
Kevin Fahrman, 67, of Falmouth, died on Friday, WCSH-TV reported.
For decades, Fahrman anonymously put large red hearts on Fort Gorges and Portland storefronts and landmarks on Valentine’s Day, according to Maine Public.
“As we remember Kevin, we cannot help but smile through our tears at his infectious humor, practical jokes, and the long-held secret that he was a visionary behind Portland’s Valentine’s Day Bandit,” his obituary states. “Yes, you read that right.
“Kevin’s simple yet powerful gesture brought joy and love to the community, reminding us all to cherish our loved ones and treasure the place we call home.”
Rachel Guthrie, a close friend of Fahrman’s, said he touched countless lives.
“There are so many people who benefit from those hearts, and nobody knew,” Guthrie told Maine Public. “We were so good at keeping that secret, the small group of us who knew.”
Guthrie says one of Fahrman’s colleagues began the heart tradition in 1976, but Fahrman took over three years later, Maine Public reported. His basement is still filled with red hearts.
His identity remained a secret, but his fame transcended the area.
“Like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, the phantom Valentine’s Day Bandit is one more thing that makes Portland a cool place,” Andy Verzosa told the Bangor Daily News in a 2015 interview. “I’d be absolutely thrilled to see the hearts taped to the doors and windows. It kind of gave you a lift.”
Fahrman is survived by his wife, three adult children and a brother, according to his obituary. A celebration of life for Fahrman will be on Tuesday at the Portland Yacht Club in Falmouth.
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