Roland R. Levesque, former head chef at Moulton Union, died on February 8, 2017, in Brunswick, Maine.
(The following appeared online desmondfuneralhomes.com)
Roland Rosario Levesque died peacefully at Bodwell House in Brunswick with his family by his side on February 8, 2017. Throughout his few days there and at MidCoast Hospital, so many family and friends were able to visit and express their love and memories with Roland. The family is deeply appreciative of the staff at Bodwell and Chans Hospice, especially nurses April and Walter who helped to keep him comfortable at Bodwell.
Roland was born in Brunswick Maine on August 7, 1939, the son of Rosario and Mary Jane Levesque. He leaves behind his wife, Beth of 34 years of Brunswick Maine; his sons Gary Levesque of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and Michael Levesque, of Portland, Maine; his step-sons Christopher Gerow of Brunswick, Todd W. Gerow, and his wife, Christine of North Reading, Massachusetts; his brothers Louis Levesque, and his wife Joanne, of Topsham ME and Arthur Tetu and his wife Diana of Warwick, RI; his brother-in-law, Raymond Mac Mahon of Thailand; his grandchildren Jason Levesque of Tucson, AZ, Justen Levesque of Durham, Me, Emily Gerow of North Reading, Mass; his nephew and Godson Steven Levesque of New Gloucester, Maine; niece Nicole Levesque and her partner Fred Arsenault of Westbrook, Me.; his uncle and aunt, Rev. Donald Gagne, and Ginette Beauchesne of Auburn. He also leaves several beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and Godchildren. He cherished his family.
He was predeceased by his parents, his first wife, Jeanne Tardiff Levesque, and many aunts and uncles.
At the Brunswick Knights of Columbus, there will be a small hole that can’t be filled. Roland loved the KofC and devoted much of his life to serving the Knights. He cooked meals, organized events, supported friends, and loved to play cribbage with the guys. Roland was a Knight for 55 years, taking his 3rd degree in 1962 and his 4th Degree in 1977. He took the K of C vows of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism to his heart, and held many positions with the Knights. He was Grand Knight (1979-81 and 1987-88), Faithful Navigator (1991-93 and 1997-98) and in recent years he was the chair of the Columbus Club Inc. organizing many events, dances and dinners. Roland gave comfort to many families as he did the annual KofC commemorative service where he eulogized fellow Knights who passed away each year.
Roland was beginning to become active in People Plus since he appreciated the generosity of People Plus in allowing the Knights to use their space after the sale of the KofC building.
Roland was also a strong member of the Willow Grove community, where he lived. He cooked yearly summer lobster bakes for the community, hosted monthly men’s lunches, and recently began a men’s card group. He loved people and it showed!
Roland was a die-hard sports fan. He suffered an intracerebral brain hemorrhage upon arriving home after a wonderful evening of watching the Super Bowl with family. His beloved Pats, of course, won –So perhaps he thought his life was complete!
Roland loved watching all sports – especially New England, Bowdoin and BHS teams. He loved the Sox, Pats, Bruins, Celtics and Bowdoin College basketball, hockey and football. He could always be found in the same seat at the Morrell Gym for basketball. He also took great pride in watching his grandsons play high school football. He and his brother Louis, appeared at one grandson’s high school game and pretended to be scouts for Bowdoin College – they talked for years of how the high school athletes and parents were so excited until their joke was divulged.
Roland was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle. He took great pride in cooking all the meals at home for his wife. He loved to cook for family and friends – small groups or large. He especially loved it when his sons and grandsons came to visit and he could cook for the family. Everyone loved Roland’s spaghetti and meatballs, his pork pies at the holidays, fish chowder and so many of his other meals. This past summer he enjoyed showing his grandsons how to make Bowdoin Logs – an ice cream dessert that Roland helped to create while at Bowdoin.
Roland was born and raised in Brunswick and loved this town. He only left for a few years while he was in the Navy and even then managed to get transferred to Brunswick Naval Air Station for the end of his 7 year Naval career. He took great pride in many of his military experiences, especially while serving on the Carrier Essex, they picked up the Apollo 7 spacecraft in October 1968. The Astronaut Donn Eisele, Walter Cunningham and Walter Schirra were onboard. He often told the story of how he and his kitchen crew prepared a huge cake for the landing celebration and the challenges of moving the multi-piece cake on the elevator in several sections.
As a young man, Roland managed the Bowling Bowl candlepin lane on Dunlap Street in Brunswick, he also worked at the First National Stores with his brother, Louis, and later at Cottles Supermarket (now Hannaford). Following his seven years in the Navy, he joined the staff of Bowdoin College Dining Service, working his way from Baker to Head Chef at Bowdoin’s Moulton Union kitchen. He took great pride in his Bowdoin career. He credited Larry Pinette, Bowdoin’s Executive Chef for having such faith in a young French Canadian cook. Roland retired in 2001 with 32 years of service to Bowdoin and was made an Honorary Member of Alumni Association. He also was given Bowdoin’s first Polar Bear Award honoring his devotion to Athletics at Bowdoin.
In retirement, Roland returned to part-time work at Hannaford. He enjoyed helping customers in the produce department choose fruits and vegetables and he was generous with his cooking advice. He also continued to cater lobster bakes and dinners whenever he was asked.
In 2015, he was blessed with a beautiful grand-daughter, Emily. She was the apple of his eye. Emily learned to say “Pepere” on her last visit with him and that pleased him.