Former Salem Mayor Jean A. Levesque, 88 of Salem, died Sunday morning at the Grosvenor Park Nursing Center in Salem following a long illness. He was the husband of the late Florence T. (Lapointe) Levesque, who passed away in 1988.
Born in Lynn and raised in Salem, he was the son of the late Alfred J. and Delia (Dandurand) Levesque. A veteran of World War II, Jean joined the Army and served with the infantry in Europe and ended his tour of duty in Japan. He returned to Salem and began working in construction for the building of St. Joseph Church and the Rainbow Terrace project. Married in 1949 to his late wife Florence, he left construction to work as a supervisor for the former United Shoe Machinery Corp. of Beverly.
Jean began his political career with his election as City Councilor of Ward 5 in 1970. As President of the Council, in 1973 he was nominated, by the council to fill the seat of mayor when then Mayor Sam Zoll vacated the position following his appointment as Judge. Jean, ‘the working man’s mayor’ served as mayor from 1973 to 1983. Following his defeat as mayor, he became Vice President in charge of business development for Century Bank until his retirement. Following his retirement, he volunteered at City Hall for the Commission on Disabilities as well as for the CETA Program.
A humble, good humored gentleman, Jean loved his family, his city, his country and his church. He was able to go beyond the differences of opinions and appreciate the innate value of the individual. Throughout his varied career in the private sector and in politics, he truly appreciated those knowledgeable people around him who supported him and helped him to grow.
He is survived by two daughters, Jeannette M. Lyons and her husband William of Salem, Julianne Beaver and her husband Dale all of Salem, a brother George Levesque of Winchendon, three grandchildren, Heather Paul and her husband Jason, Kimberly Loarca and her husband Gabriel, and Mathew Beaver. He also leaves two great-grandchildren, Aubrie & Gabriel, Jr., Loarca as well as nieces and nephews. In addition to his wife, he was predeceased by his son Jean Paul Levesque, and siblings, Charles, Raymond & Peter Levesque and Jeannette Girard.
Visiting hours will be on Sunday, June 9, 2013 at the Levesque Funeral Home, 163 Lafayette St. [Rt. 114 / 1-A] Salem from 2:00 to 6:00 P.M. Relatives and friends are invited to his funeral mass in Ste. Anne Church, 290 Jefferson Ave. on Monday at 10:00 A.M. Burial will follow in Greenlawn Cemetery, Salem. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to, Salem Veterans Services Fund, 5 Broad St., Salem, MA 01970 (to support Salem Veterans). For guestbook and additional information, please visit www.LevesqueFunerals.com