Salem — Gerald E. "Jerry" Levesque, 80, of Salem, died peacefully on Saturday, July 20, 2013, at the Kaplan Family Hospice House, surrounded by his loving family. He was the husband of Claire J. (Latulippe) Levesque, with whom he had shared 60 years of marriage.
Born and raised in Salem, he was the son of the late Emile and Albertine (Levesque) Levesque.
At heart, Jerry was a dedicated salesman in the shoe industry, from working for Bruce Hamlin’s in Marblehead, to Bowcraft of New York City, and onto Claftonbox of Brockton. He carried that quick wit and easy connection with people throughout his life. Jerry's motto was, “Anybody can buy it, but can YOU sell it.”
When Jerry was 14 years old, his mother bought him his first sailboat, which he named Lil Hawk. Thus began his love affair with boats and the sea. Over the years, he owned numerous sailboats and in his early 40s, his love of boats prompted him to make a complete career change. He left the shoe industry to open Marine Speculators, New England’s first marine discount store, buying, selling and trading marine gear. Highly respected in the marine industry, his success changed the way business was conducted in this field.
The love for his wife, Claire, his children and grandchildren was of the utmost importance to him. He and Claire enjoyed their many trips to their favorite island, Aruba, and throughout the Caribbean, as well as their weekend trips to Montreal. He was very involved in his children’s lives and enjoyed watching them succeed and prosper in life.
Over the years, he loved his dogs, and his pal, Buddy, will be lost without him.
When he retired at 53, Jerry had two things on his agenda. First was a trip to Australia and the Fiji Islands, which he did, as well as the East Coast boat trip from Florida to Massachusetts, which he did with son-in-law, Jim. A man of many interests, Jerry had a love of cars, from his first one at 19, a red Willy’s Jeepster, to his latest model. He also developed a passion for motor homes and over the years made numerous cross-country, north and south trips with Claire and his friend, Joe.
Jerry was also especially proud of his French Canadian heritage. Descended from one of Quebec’s earliest families to settle in Canada, he devoted considerable time to researching his family’s genealogy, which he passed on to his family and extended family.
In addition to his wife Claire, he is survived by his children, Rick Levesque and his wife, Cindy, of Beverly, Linda Corbett and her husband, Jim, of Danvers, Renee Little and her husband, Barry, of Danvers; five grandchildren, Erick, Jake and Joe Levesque, and Lindsay and Greg Little; a great-grandson, Ryan Levesque; a brother-in-law, Joseph Martin of Stamford, Conn.; and nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister, Lorraine Martin.
ARRANGEMENTS: Relatives and friends are invited to his funeral service on Wednesday, July 24, at 10 a.m., at the Levesque Funeral Home, 163 Lafayette St., Route 114/1-A, Salem. His visiting hours will be on Tuesday, from 4 to 8 p.m. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Salem. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Massachusetts General/North Shore Cancer Center, Attn: Radiological Dept., 102 Endicott St., Danvers, MA 01923. For the guest book, or more information, please visit www.LevesqueFunerals.com.