Reno Joseph Levesque, 98, longtime Bristol resident, died on Thursday July 23, 2020 at the home of daughter Nancy and her husband George Kovaleski, surrounded by his loving family. Born on May 1,1922 in Ste. Anne, New Brunswick, Canada to American parents, Alexis and Claudia (Saucier) Levesque, Reno was raised along the Northern Maine-Canada border in the St John River Valley, where many French-speaking families lived and worked on both sides of the border. From an early age, Reno followed his father and older brothers as lumberjacks and farm workers, learning hands-on how to work hard, effectively, and collaboratively. By the time of World War II, Reno’s family was living in Van Buren, Maine when he signed up for military service. He recalled that although he did not speak much English, he learned it very quickly on-the-job. So began the proudest achievement of his life (other than raising his children) fighting for his country. He served in the U.S Army with the 197th Anti-Aircraft Battalion Battery A, part of the first self-propelled AA units with halftracks. He took part in the D-Day invasion at Omaha Beach, and defended re-captured airfields and ammo depots throughout France. From Normandy, the campaign took him through Northern France, the Ardennes, the Rhineland, and into Germany. After an honorable discharge, Reno joined the corps of civil engineers as a mechanic at Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, Maine, where he worked for almost twenty years. He was a loyal active member of the American Legion Post 49 in Van Buren for 75 years, including serving as a past commander. In 1948, Reno married Aurore Parent and they made their home in Van Buren, raising four children. He was an incredible jack-of-all-trades, deer hunter, and fisherman, providing food for his family and readily sharing it with relatives and friends. When Aurore died rather young in 1964, he was determined to raise his young children, and he felt he needed a new partner. In 1965 he wed Annette Cormier-Bouchard, a widow with five children. They decided to make a fresh start by moving to Bristol, Connecticut, just five months into their marriage. Reno worked for Morin Erection Company as an ironworker until his retirement in 1988. Annette died in 2000, leaving him a widower once again. Living alone as a retiree did not suit him and in 2003 at the age of 80 he married Lillian Greisner-Peters. They enjoyed their senior years well into their 90s until health issues arose and she died in 2017 at the age of 100. Reno thrived in independent living at Village Gate and Atria in Farmington, and recently in Connecticut Baptist Homes in Meriden. Reno was grateful for health care services provided by the VA in Newington and West Haven. Reno’s family wish to express their gratitude to Dr. Andrea Ruskin and the Masonicare Home Health and Hospice Team. Reno is survived by his children with Aurore: Ronald (Kiet) Levesque, Rachel (Walter) White, Nancy (George) Kovaleski, and Diane (John) Holland; his grandchildren: Brian (Priya) White, Kimberly White, and Austin Holland; his great-grandson Devin White. He is survived by his step-children with Annette: Roderick (Merilla) Bouchard, Joseph (Holly) Bouchard, Gregory (Margaret) Bouchard, Roberta (David) Wilkins, and Philip Bouchard; several grandchildren and many great-grandchildren; predeceased by two grandsons. He is survived by Lillian’s children: Janice Peters, JoAnn Wilson, and James Peters. Reno also leaves behind numerous cherished nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was predeceased by his brothers: Louis, Albenie, and Alyre; and his sisters: Edmee, Nelida, Denise, and Yvonne. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Saint Gregory the Great Church in Bristol, CT, or Catholic Television/ ORTV Inc. at 15 Peach Orchard Road, Prospect, CT 06712. Relatives and friends may call at Funk Funeral Home, 35 Bellevue Ave., Bristol, on Wednesday July 29 between 9 and 11AM followed by celebration of Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30AM at St. Gregory the Great Church, 235 Maltby St., Bristol. Military final honors will be rendered after Mass. He will be buried in Van Buren, Maine, next to Aurore, mother of his children, at the convenience of the family. Please visit Reno’s memorial website at www.FunkFuneralHome.com.
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