Bryant Nicholson of Portland was a certified public accountant throughout his career, but his son said he was the “total opposite of what you would think of as a stereotypical accountant.”

“He was warm, friendly, had a great sense of humor,” said BJ Nicholson of Cape Elizabeth. “He really enjoyed his life. He took a lot of pleasure just being with family.”

Mr. Nicholson died Tuesday. He was 72.

After spending his childhood in New York City, Mr. Nicholson moved with his family to Northeast Harbor. He graduated from Northeast Harbor High School, then Bentley College and Northeastern University.

He started his career as a certified public accountant at a firm in Boston before returning to Maine and joining Macdonald Page & Co.

As his career progressed in Maine, Mr. Nicholson made many connections in Greater Portland. Some of the people he met became a part of his circle of friends, which he called the “Board of Directors.”

“They would meet for lunch and talk away,” his son said.

His son described him as a “very committed Republican” and said he always was interested in discussing world politics and current events. Mr. Nicholson was also very interested in history, especially the Civil War and World War II.

“That was one thing we shared a lot in common,” his son said. “At Christmastime, I’d always look for some great big biography or something that I could give him.”

When BJ Nicholson and his sister, Melissa Rosati, were younger, Mr. Nicholson took them to Washington, D.C.

“He wanted to do something a little different,” his son said, remembering how they took the train from Boston to the nation’s capital. “I remember that clearly, spending a lot of time walking around the Smithsonian and other museums.”

Rosati remembers trips to Florida that she took with her father over the years.

“He loved the sun. He loved being outside,” she said. “We’d stay and lounge at the beach and lounge at the pool. It was nice bonding time we had together.”

Both of his children remember how much he cherished visits to Northeast Harbor. His daughter said it was a special place to him, with friends he had known since his youth.

“On Sundays when we’d leave, he would always say, ‘I hate to leave,’ even though we were just driving back to Portland,” she said.

After he retired from his own firm, Clark, Friel and Nicholson in Portland, Mr. Nicholson was able to spend a lot of quality time with his six grandchildren.

“All my girls are very avid softball players and he used to love coming to softball games,” his son said.

Mr. Nicholson often traveled from Portland to North Reading, Mass., where Rosati lives with her husband, David, and their children, Mia, Ava and David.

“He would always say, ‘It’s time for grandpa to go outside and smoke his pipe.’ (The children) were always going outside and bugging him,” his daughter said.

They would ask him endless questions about his pipe, she said.

Even though she suspects he went outside to smoke after dinner to take a break from the house full of people, his daughter said he just loved having them around.

“He had a lot of special time with my kids,” she said.

Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

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