WESTBROOK — More than 500 people attended a memorial service Sunday for former L.L. Bean President Leon A. Gorman, who was remembered as a quiet but tenacious man who tackled everything he did with intensity, whether climbing a mountain in the Himalayas or grilling eggs for 400 people at a Portland soup kitchen.

During the service at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center, speakers focused on Gorman’s efforts to preserve land for conservation, his volunteer work at Preble Street, a Portland agency that helps the poor, and his legacy at L.L. Bean, which experienced explosive growth during his 34 years as president and 12 years as chairman of the board. Gorman became president of the Freeport outdoors and apparel company in 1967 after the death of his grandfather, company founder Leon Leonwood Bean, and was chairman emeritus when he died of cancer on Sept. 3. He was 80.

On Sunday, Gorman’s body lay in a flower-draped casket at the front of the stage during the non-religious memorial. To the left was a painting of Gorman, wearing a hunting jacket and sitting on a log with his two dogs, English springer spaniels.

The hearse carrying Leon Gorman’s flag-draped casket from the Westbrook Performing Arts Center after his memorial service Sunday.

The hearse carrying Leon Gorman’s flag-draped casket from the Westbrook Performing Arts Center after his memorial service Sunday. Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

Mark Swann, executive director of Preble Street, said Gorman volunteered at the agency’s Portland soup kitchen every Wednesday morning for 12 years. Swann announced that the agency’s volunteer of the year award will be named the Leon Gorman Volunteer Service Award.

Swann remembered getting a call last winter from Gorman while Gorman was sitting in a plane idling on the tarmac at Boston’s Logan International Airport during a storm. Gorman wanted to know how Portland’s homeless were coping with the unusually cold and stormy winter. Swann reported that they lacked warm clothes, and Gorman immediately called the company’s warehouse and dispatched a truck filled with winter jackets, scarves, hats and toe-warmers to distribute to the homeless.

Gorman also was a strategic adviser to the agency and helped raise money to build a teen center that provides services for homeless and runaway youths.

He was the most powerful private person in Maine, but he often thought about ways to help the “least powerful, most easily forgotten people in the state,” Swann said. “What a lesson from Leon for all of us.”

Current L.L. Bean CEO Christopher McCormick, second from right, and others gather after Leon Gorman’s memorial service at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center on Sunday.

Current L.L. Bean CEO Christopher McCormick, second from right, and others gather after Leon Gorman’s memorial service at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center on Sunday. Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

Tom Deans, former executive director of the Appalachian Mountain Club, talked about Gorman’s love of the outdoors. Deans and his wife, Penny, and Gorman and his wife, Lisa, hiked together on trails around the world and in New England. He said Gorman served as the “map reader” and preferred the most difficult route over the easiest one when given an option.

Gorman’s work ethic was apparent in his philanthropy as well. He carefully studied proposals before donating money for land-protection efforts, Deans said. The efforts included preservation of the “100-mile wilderness,” the wildest and most challenging section of the Appalachian Trail, as well as a 4,000-acre addition to Baxter State Park and 185,000 acres along the St. John River. Last year, Gorman donated Lanes Island, an old L.L. Bean hunting preserve in Casco Bay, to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust.

Gorman was a reserved and methodical man who planned his hunting trips two weeks in advance, and he was so devoted to L.L. Bean that he would go to work on Christmas Day, said his daughter, Jennifer Gorman. Yet Gorman also was a warm man who loved life and cared deeply about his family and his employees, she said.

Many of those attending Sunday’s service were L.L. Bean employees. When Gorman visited a work site, people would get nervous because he was the boss, but Gorman tried to put everyone at ease, said Jennifer Rich of Scarborough, a customer service representative who began working at L.L. Bean 37 years ago.

“You trusted him. You knew he meant well,” she said. “He was a very nice person. He wasn’t just an L.L. Bean icon.”

Gorman is credited with modernizing L.L. Bean, guiding it during a period of explosive growth. Revenues increased from just under $5 million in 1967 to $1.6 billion in 2013 when he stepped down as chairman.

“Leon took his grandfather’s company and built a legend,” said Elaine Rosen, a close family friend who introduced the service. Rosen, former president of Unum Life Insurance Co., had worked with Gorman at Preble Street, where she serves on the board of directors.

Gorman’s stepson Shimon Cohen and niece Lauren Amron also spoke.

The service also was viewed by employees through live streaming into Bean facilities across the company.

Gorman spent four years in the Navy before joining L.L. Bean in 1960. After the service, his casket was draped with an American flag. The burial in Yarmouth, where Gorman grew up, was private.