CAPE ELIZABETH – This transplant from the Boston area had a deep affection for Maine.

George Brett, 89, who died in Portland on May 15, lived in Massachusetts for most of his life. There, he raised three children, built a successful banking career in Boston’s Financial District, and got involved with several charitable organizations.

Though his work was an important part of his life, nothing meant more to him than spending time with his family at his summer cottage in Maine.

“Waterford became the true home and emotional center for our family,” said his daughter, Nancy Brett, who now lives there. “He loved being able to spend time outside in this beautiful area. He loved being able to expose his children to (this).”

Mr. Brett’s love affair with Maine began when he attended the Birch Rock Camp in Waterford as a kid in the late 1920s, where he later became a camp counselor.

Nearby was the Mount Tirem Inn, a collection of cottages that sprang up along Keoka Lake. In 1965, Mr. Brett and his first wife, the late Virginia Harvey, bought the inn, which then became their summer home.

His daughter remembered on Wednesday how she and her siblings would help load the car on Friday afternoons and eagerly wait for their father to come home from work.

“He would take the MBTA from Boston to Newton and we would get in the car and drive to Maine,” she recalled. “He loved leaving the rigors of the work world and coming to the lake, with the peace and the fishing opportunities.”

She remembered her father steering his Boston Whaler, pulling her and many other kids on water skis.

Nancy Brett reminisced about the times he took them mining in the local quarries.

“We would go mining and look for interesting mineral specimens,” she said. “I’m blessed to have this beautiful place and all those wonderful memories.”

Mr. Brett, who spent much of his career as a portfolio manager, retired from Bank of New England in 1983. A year later, his wife died.

In 1986, he moved to Maine and married his second wife, Deborah Lombard Farnsworth. The couple lived in Cape Elizabeth.

His daughter said they shared a great life together. She said they traveled to Europe and wintered for many years in the Bahamas. There, he enjoyed fishing for bone fish.

He had a passion for fly fishing. He fished at many places across the state, including the Rapid River, the east outlet of Moosehead Lake, Kennebago lake and river and the Magalloway River.

Mr. Brett was active in many causes throughout his life. He served on the board of directors of the Fernald League, an organization dedicated to improving the conditions at the Fernald School, an institution for the mentally ill in Waltham, Mass. Mr. Brett’s son lived there in the late 1960s.

Mr. Brett was also active in organizations in the Portland area. He served on the board of trustees for the Maine College of Art, as well as a steering committee for the college.

His daughter said his mind was sharp until his death. She said he timed himself doing The New York Times crossword puzzle and read the Wall Street Journal every day.

On May 9, he fell and hit his head and never recovered from his injuries.

“I’ll miss his smiles, his big, brown eyes and his sense of humor,” Nancy Brett said.

Mr. Brett’s memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Cape Elizabeth. 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

[email protected]