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State Trooper Featured In Norman Rockwell's 'The Runaway' Dies At 84

BOSTON (CBS) – The Massachusetts State Trooper who became famous for his role in an iconic Norman Rockwell painting has died.

Retired Trooper Dick Clemens was the model for Rockwell's "The Runaway" in which a state trooper talks to an 8-year-old boy at a lunch counter in western Massachusetts.

According to Smithsonian Magazine, Clemens was a neighbor of Rockwell's in Stockbridge in 1958 when the artist asked the trooper, who was 30 at the time, to pose for the painting at the Howard Johnson's restaurant in Pittsfield.

"The Runaway" eventually appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in September 1958.

Trooper Clemens reunited with Ed Locke, the 8-year-old boy in the picture, to celebrate the painting's 50th anniversary in 2008.

"Tpr Clemens greeted everyone in his humble way, with a constant smile, a firm hand shake & a warm hello," the state police said on Twitter Monday.

"Our condolences to Dick's family. Rockwell's painting sums up this truth: An officer is never so tall as when he stoops to help a child."

Trooper Dick Clemens was 84 years old.

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