Victor Parry Levesque

FRANKLIN — Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, on calm seas, Victor Parry Levesque, the “Ol’ Man,” set sail on the “big dragger in the sky.” Victor was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, March 1, 1929, to Mabel (Parry) and Vital Levesque. By the age of 13, Vic was installing tail hooks on WWII fighter planes (Curtis Hell Divers) in Longueil, Quebec. At 18, he was driving WWII refugees to displaced OBIT - Levesquepersons camps, and this is where he met Dorothy (Carr) Levesque. He then went to work on the DEW line (Distance Early Warning System for North American National Defense) in Frobisher Bay, Arctic Circle, in the shade of the North Pole. The Cabot Trail was the next stop, where he helped to build a 20-mile stretch of road around Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Between the Cabot Trail and his immigration to Maine, he worked different projects from Manitoba to Maine, from bridge building, to setting the Cutler radar towers.

Upon moving to Maine in 1960, he worked as a mechanic and welder for Raymond Sargent and Harold MacQuinn before taking a job at Callahan Mines as mechanics supervisor in Cape Rosier, Maine. It was at Cape Rosier he fell in love with the sea and bought his first boat. Never to be flummoxed by any challenge, he used the crane at the mine to lift the boat in and out of the water. Callahan Mines closed in 1972, and Vic would never work for anyone else again. The sea was in his blood. He brought back the first of many “Novi” (Nova Scotia) fishing boats, for himself and other local fishermen. He had a brand new “Novi” boat built that was his pride and joy, the Ready Girl. Vic, as captain of the Ready Girl, along with 8-year-old son, Tim, his brother, Peter, and a few other local boats, sailed to Cape Cod to drag the rich scallop grounds. They quickly became known as the “Mosquito Fleet,” a few tiny boats from Maine fishing amongst the highliners.

Cashing in from the scallop catch on the Cape, Vic came home with a plan to build his own steel vessel. Before he sold the Ready Girl to finance the project, he steamed to Jonesboro, where there were two big, steel water tanks close to the shore. He cut the tanks apart and used the Ready Girl to pull the steel down to the beach. This was to be the hull of the Northern Miner, which would become the first of many steel vessels built by Vic Levesque. The vessel was fabricated at his longtime friend Richard Higgins’ “Ice House” in Hulls Cove, then transported to the Bar Harbor Airport sea ramp for launching. The big question was, “Will it float?” It floated. He went on to build the Jesse for Jim Salisbury of Steuben, the Thunder Bay for himself, Tubby for Bob Collier, the David Bartlett for David and Peggy Rockefeller, the Steelhead for Penobscot Salmon, the Mumbles for Great Eastern Mussel, and the Dana S for Eric Swanson.

Vic promoted mussel dragging and sea cucumber harvesting in the local waters; ground fishing became part of the fiber of the local fishing community. Vic trucked most of the fish from his and other local boats to the Portland Fish Exchange, and was their first customer. They relied on him to get the auction up and running. Bar Harbor Marine was a family business, with his then-wife Dorothy, his children and brother, Peter, working along beside him. His brother, Peter, was always near by as best friend and partner throughout his life.

In 1990, Victor met Joanne Sargent, who became his partner of 25 years. He moved Bar Harbor Marine to Trenton, which would become known as The Farm. Joanne was always there to keep things operating for Victor and his crew. They both loved traveling, and spent many vacations in Florida, the Caribbean, London, Wales and across Canada. When Victor became ill, she stayed by his side, keeping him going, and giving all of her time and energy to make sure he was well cared for until the end.

He was much loved, funny and generous, and he would do anything for anyone who was trying to work at making a living. His imagination was limitless, no problem left unsolved. Vic will be missed by many.

Surviving Vic are his longtime love and partner, Joanne Sargent, of Franklin; daughters, Teresa Levesque and husband, Joe Strout, of Trenton; Linda Levesque of Milbridge, Jacqueline Levesque of Arlington, Va.; and son, Timothy Levesque, and partner, Laurie Gray, of Trenton. He also is survived by his brother, Peter Levesque, and wife, Charlotte, of Hulls Cove; his sister, Margaret (Levesque) Bertrand, of British Columbia; former wife, Dorothy (Carr) Levesque; and many grand and great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister, Barbara (Levesque) Glidden. He also will be deeply missed by Joanne’s children, Alec Sargent of Trenton, and Stephanie Sansom and husband, David Sansom, of Lake Wylie, S.C. and several grandchildren. Vic’s great joys were his grandchildren: Karrie, Kathy, Danielle, Aaron, Jake, Jason, Brian, and Tony, and Joanne’s grandchildren: Chayce, Natalie, Kamdyn, Rhys and Morgan.

Victor was a member of the Ira Berry Masonic Lodge in Blue Hill, Maine. There will be a celebration of Vic’s life to be held sometime in early July. Further notice will be posted. Those who wish may donate to the Maine Sea Coast Mission, 127 West St., Bar Harbor, the Salvation Army or a charity of one’s choice.

Know when to pay your respects.