Harold H. “Dynamite” Payson, 82, died March 23, 2011, at Maine Medical Center in Portland, after suffering an aneurysm at his home earlier that day.

Born in Rockland on April 13, 1928, he was the son of Herman W. and Ethel M. Perry Payson. He grew up at “The Head of the Bay” in Owls Head. As a young boy Harold enjoyed scaring his sisters as they sat in the family’s living room with their suitors, by jumping up from behind the couch. His quick, loud action earned him the nickname “Dynamite,” which continued throughout his life. He attended Owls Head schools and Rockland High School until enlisting in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

Lobstering at an early age in a double-ended rowing dory, upon his return from military service, Dynamite returned to that work, lobstering off Metinic. During that same period, he met the love of his life, Amy A. Rackliff, and they were married in South Thomaston on March 10, 1949.

They honeymooned at Metinic, and summered there during the lobstering season for the next several years. They spent their winter months in South Thomaston where Dynamite built boats with his father-in-law, Archie Rackliff, developing his boat building skills.

In the mid-1960s, he collaborated with well-known naval architect Philip Bolger of Gloucester, Mass., who had taken admirable note of Dynamite’s work on one of his designs, the Gloucester Light Dory. Through their collaboration, Dynamite furthered his boat design and building portfolio, and at the same time began, at the urging of Phil Bolger and Roger Taylor (founder of International Marine Publishing Company), authoring how-to books. As stated by Bolger about Dynamite, “this collaboration and friendship has been one of the pleasantest enduring relationships of my life.”

He was a very reluctant author, stating that he was a high school dropout and had no idea of such things. He has since written 10 how-to books. About his authoring he said, “Books don’t need to be boring, I believe in letting up on a person once in a while.”

Through his work writing and teaching, he was awarded his honorary high school diploma in 1990.

Always willing and eager to share his knowledge with others, for a time he taught boat building at the Wooden Boat School in Brooklin.

Although renowned in the maritime and art world, Dynamite was known as a gentleman, was always unassuming, and treated everyone the same, regardless of social standing. His work in models and photography was exhibited at noted locations including Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland and Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport.

Over the years, with the assistance of his wife, Dynamite kept track of the boat plans that he had sold and the boats that had been built all over the world.

Even though the primary tools of his craft were generational hand tools, as the computer technology advanced, he learned those skills as well, and ultimately joined the web world with his own website.

He was a life member of the Owls Head Transportation Museum and could often be seen driving his 1930 Chevy Roadster, given to him by his father in the 1950s, daily to the Spruce Head Post Office.

He loved, and was loved by his family. He always looked forward to family cookouts and especially the “goodies” that were made by the family. He appreciated the countless friends and relatives who would always stop by and visit him in his shop. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Predeceased by one son, David H. Payson on Jan. 18, 2008, Dynamite is survived by one sister, Helen Post of Spruce Head; his wife of 62 years, Amy; two sons, Neil P. Payson of South Thomaston and Timothy D. Payson and his wife, Glennis, of Camden; two daughters, Lisa Payson of South Thomaston and Joy Wyatt and her husband, Darrell, of Bonneau, S.C.; seven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; as well as several nieces and nephews.

Friends and relatives are invited to visit Thursday, March 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St. in Rockland, where a celebration of Dynamite’s life will be held Friday, April 1, at 11 a.m. A reception will follow at 104 Limerock.

Spring interment will be in Ocean View Cemetery in South Thomaston. To share a memory or story with Dynamite’s family, visit his online guest book at bchfh.com.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Carpenter’s Boat Shop, 440 Old County Road, Pemaquid, ME 04558.