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Romeo J. Levesque, M.D. "The Good Doctor"

By: Jean Paul Ouellette

Dr. Romeo J. Levesque, son of Honore and Edith Levesque was born in Frenchville on July 31, 1898.

After attending the Ste Anne de la Pocatiere College, he went on to Laval University in Quebec where he received his doctorate.

He returned to Frenchville, after serving his internship at St. Mary's Hospital in Lewiston, ME. and opened his practice in his father's house.

Dr. Levesque was a very talented and gifted person. He did not limit his practice like most people do today. He delivered babies, repaired broken bones, patched up burns, gave various vaccines to his patients, took blood tests, volunteered to hold public health clinics, dispensed medications, and even pulled teeth when he needed to.

His office was not big, a simple desk, a few chairs, and a medicine closet. And this office was open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It was not unusual for him to be gone for a day or two in the back settlements of Frenchville and St. Agatha or even as far as Stockholm to be with an expectant mother or a very sick person. He himself would even bring the person to the Eagle Lake or Van Buren hospital for treatment. Fort Kent hospital did not exist until 1952.

Let's not forget that during most of the time during his practice, many of our roads were not paved nor were they plowed in the winter time. So, people living on those roads would see dr. Levesque at his office during the summer and early fall days, but during the harsh winters and muddy springs they depended on the good doctor to travel to their homes and that's what he did. With the help of a local mechanic, he traveled all over the valley on a home-made snowmobile (very different from snowmobiles as we know them today) or a horse drawn sleigh. They would travel as far as they could go, then several neighbors, of the sick person would get together and help the doctor get to the sick person. Most of the time the mechanic driving the doctor was paid more then the doctor received for his services.

Dr. Levesque was also blessed with a good voice. He loved to join in with our choir here at St. Luce Chrurch and when he did, we knew that the good doctor was in the church.

His patients, his family, his God, his church, and his work were always placed ahead of his health and financial gain. Many times he was sick himself, but he would travel to his patients. Often he did not get paid for his services. "On va allez vous payer Dimanche" - we will go pay you Sunday. Some did and some never did.

Sunday was normally a day of rest for Catholics in this area. But, not for Dr. Levesque, for him it was a steady stream of patients coming to his office for medicine or an office call, starting after the 10 o'clock mass and lasting until late afternoon. His Sunday dinners often turned out to be early suppers.

Dr. Levesque left us at an early age, he never had a chance to retire and enjoy himself with his family, however he never complained during his illness. He knew his God was calling him and he listened, like he had done so many times before, with his patients.

Dr. Levesque visited my home many times and delivered 13 babies including myself. He was by our side when our parents died. Like many others who contributed to this presentation, I am very proud to have known the Good Dr. Levesque.

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