Eight Bells: Richard Levesque
Published on January 29th, 2021
Richard “Dick” M. Levesque, 76, passed away on January 20, 2021 at Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine. He was born May 25, 1944 to Lucien and Alice (Roy) Levesque in Spartanburg, SC where his father was preparing to deploy to the European theatre of WWII.
The eldest of six children, Dick grew up in Columbia, CT. He was a mischievous teen who eventually found direction and purpose as a competitive swimmer. Dick attended Springfield College where he was on the swim team and earned a degree in biology. After Springfield College, Dick earned a master’s degree from the University of Connecticut prior to earning a Doctor of Osteopathy from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine.
During his career as a surgeon in Portland, Dick became a Governor of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons. He was an innovative and skilled surgeon admired for his surgical expertise. Dick pioneered nutrition-focused postoperative treatment specifically for gallbladder surgery. He was gracious with his time, and gave thoughtful teaching insights.
Dick had a lifelong passion for sailing which began as a kid in the Sea Scouts on small lakes in Connecticut. On those lakes he sailed the family Sunfish and crewed on Lightnings in local regattas. During his working years, Dick raced and cruised on Maine’s Casco Bay campaigning a series of IOR, IMS, and PHRF boats named Widgeon, Spirit, and Tamarack out of the Portland Yacht Club. A dedicated, and fun-loving crew shared wins at Block Island Race Week, PHRF New Englands, and the Gulf of Maine DIRIGO Bowl Season Championship.
In his later years, after his own competitive sailing ended, Dick dedicated himself to teaching and mentoring new and young sailors. He taught sailing at SailMaine where he loved to teach eager adults in J/22s and found great joy coaching the Falmouth High School sailing team. Coach Levesque taught the “big picture” and fundamentals of sailboat racing.
He was a highly sought-after instructor with a loyal following of adult students who would spend lessons sailing with Dick to lobster roll shacks on Portland’s waterfront. Several of his Falmouth High School sailors went on to earn All-American honors in college. Dick’s greatest on-the-water accomplishment was instilling a lifelong love and passion for sailing and the sea in his sons.
Dick is survived by three sons, Michael, Peter, and Chris; five grandchildren; and four siblings, Gene, Janet, Peter, and Suzanne. He was predeceased by his brother Raymond. In lieu of flowers, the family is encouraging donations to SailMaine: www.sailmaine.org.