SCARBOROUGH – Edward Baumann, a prominent certified public accountant in Portland, whose family bought two blocks of real estate in the Old Port in 2003 and helped to transform the area into a destination for shopping and entertainment, died Wednesday. He was 79.

Mr. Baumann worked as a CPA for more than 50 years and was a partner at several large international accounting firms. His success in the industry led him to become president and chairman of the board of directors at First City Savings Bank in Dallas, Texas.

In 1989, he moved to Portland and started his own accounting firm, Baumann & Co. His son, Karl Baumann, who owns an accounting firm in Wellesley, Mass., said he took on several high-profile accounts such as General Motors and Chrysler. He also handled complex financial accounts for businesses in Greater Portland. Baumann said his father did tax planning, estate planning, business planning and certification of financial statements.

“He enjoyed the challenge of doing all of these different things,” his son said. “He was excited and enthusiastic about his work. He had an altruistic outlook. In a sense, he was trying to minister (his clients) and give them the best advice.”

Mr. Baumann used his expertise in the industry to branch out to real estate development. In 2003, his family bought two blocks of real estate on Wharf Street and Fore Street in Portland’s Old Port. Steve Baumann, the youngest of his four sons, who’s also a real estate broker and developer in Portland, oversaw the redevelopment of the area. Together, the Baumanns transformed the area and created a popular destination for dining and shopping.

“I needed him. He was the brain,” Steve Baumann said. “We couldn’t have done that without each other. He was really proud. The city loved what we did.”

The family sold the buildings in 2008 when Mr. Baumann’s health began to fail.

He was remembered by his friends Friday as a warm and generous man who loved his family deeply.

One of his closest friends, Joseph Soley, who owns property in the Old Port, said Friday that he had a great spirit and sense of humor. He said Mr. Baumann was like a brother to him.

“He was one of the most generous, caring and sharing people,” Soley said. “We had this deep and heartfelt relationship that was irreplaceable. I’ll miss his spirit.”

He was a devoted husband to Stella Baumann for 57 years. The couple met backstage at a performance where she was singing. He accompanied her on the piano. Soon after, they started dating. They got married after he was drafted into the Air Force to serve in the Korean War.

“It’s one of those great love stories,” Steve Baumann said. “They were best friends. They did everything together.”

Baumann said his father was a dedicated family man, who always encouraged him and his brothers to think outside the box. He said they always sat down for dinner as a family and talked about things such as business or philosophy.

“He was a caring father. He wanted the best for all of us,” his son said. “He loved his four boys.”

Mr. Baumann’s health began to decline after a heart procedure he underwent in 2004. Steve Baumann said he struggled for the past couple of years.

“I’ll miss being able to talk with him and hear his voice, and go to him when I have a problem,” he said. “Sitting in a room with him … his presence was powerful.”

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

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