Richard 'Dick' P. Potvin, 83
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BIDDEFORD -- Richard ' Dick' P. Potvin, 83, of Biddeford, died on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, at St. Andre's Health Care Facility in Biddeford.
He was born on Jan. 17, 1930, in Biddeford, the son of Perley and Laurette (Palardy) Potvin and was educated at St. Joseph School and St. Louis High School. In high school he excelled in all three major sports.
After graduating with the Class of 1950, Dick became a boxer and held the Amateur Maine State Golden Glove Welterweight Championship Title. He maintained an undefeated record until he was drafted and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict.
Dick was trained as a forward observer for an artillery unit. While on duty, he sustained a bullet wound to the head by a sniper. He was awarded a Purple Heart and honorably discharged. When he returned home he worked for York Bottling Company.
On Jan. 2, 1956, he married Doris Cote at St. Andre's Church in Biddeford. He then worked for Lane Construction for 17 years as part of their survey/civil engineering team. The work focused on Air Force bases and road construction in several states. Dick and Doris lived in many of those states and moved frequently until Dick was offered a job as Public Works Director in Biddeford.
The couple moved back to Biddeford and two years later purchased a store in Old Orchard Beach, Potvin's Market. They operated the store for over 20 years and made many good friends.
Dick's quick wit and ability to make many social connections made him a natural politician. He served several consecutive terms (18 years) as a councilman for the City of Biddeford. He was appointed to multiple city committees. The Democratic Party recognized his active support and influence. Political highlights included an invitation from Jimmy Carter to join him for breakfast at the Whitehouse as a thank you for his support, and he hosted Walter Mondale in his home during Mondale's 1984
Presidential Campaign. Additionally, he was proudly appointed as Maine State Athletic Commissioner and served under two governors.
Dick was also a member of several social, veteran, and fraternal clubs some of which included: Elks, Knights of Columbus, AMVETS, VFW, and Fraternal Order of Eagles.
Dick loved kids. Not only was he a wonderful father and a loving 'pepere,' he was a mentor and coach to many. As he was reaching retirement, Dick founded Southern Maine Boxing Club with the mission to promote positive youth activity through the art of boxing. His son, Jay, continues to successfully run the club.
Dick was preceded in death by Doris, his wife of 55 years on Sept. 22, 2011; a brother and sister, Albert Potvin and Margaret Goodson; and his godson, Joel Potvin. He is survived by a daughter, Renee O'Neil and her husband James of Biddeford, two sons, Richard 'Chico' Potvin II and his wife Angelique of Biddeford and Jay Potvin of Saco; four grandchildren, Janson and Sean O'Neil along with Zachary and Morgan Potvin; a sister, Bernadette Valliere of Biddeford; and several nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the staff at St. Andre for their warm and compassionate care and also recognize the support he received at Winterhaven, Truslow Adult Day Services, Monarch Center and through the VA services in Togus.
Visiting hours will be on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Hope Memorial Chapel, 480 Elm St., Biddeford. A funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at St. Margaret's Church of the Good Shepherd Parish in Old Orchard Beach. To share condolences online, please visit www.HopeMemorial.com.
Memorial donations in Dick's
name may be made to:
Southern Maine Boxing Club
P.O. Box 1154
Biddeford, Maine 04005
and or St. Andre Health Care
407 Pool St.
Biddeford, Maine 04005
Hope Memorial Chapel
480 Elm St
Biddeford, ME 04005
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Dec. 8, 2013