LEWISTON — Gilles M. Lessard, 71, of 164 Stetson Road, Lewiston, died Sunday, May 2, at the Central Maine Medical Center.
He was born in Lewiston, Sept. 14, 1938, the son of Joseph and Gabrielle Couillard Lessard. Educated in local schools, he was a graduate of St. Dominic’s Regional High School, Class of 1956.
On Sept. 16, 1979, he married the former Jeanne R. Fournier Poulin. In 1957, he joined the National Guard, and was called to active duty by the U.S. Army during the Berlin Crisis of 1961 to 1962. He became a Lewiston firefighter in 1960, and a year later was appointed to fire dispatching duties. He was appointed the first director of the Lewiston-Auburn 911 Emergency Communication System, and was instrumental in establishing the 911 system for Lewiston-Auburn in 1979.
He was East Coast regional vice president for the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) from 1983 to 1985 for which he received a national award. After his retirement from the Lewiston Fire Department in 1986, he then went to work for the Androscoggin Sheriff’s Department as a court security officer, primarily assigned to the 8th District Court and the Androscoggin Superior Court.
He eventually became a Special Agent-Court Security for the State of Maine Judicial Department, retiring in 1993. He did extensive volunteer work for the St. Martin de Porres Residence, and also served on their board of directors and development board. He was a member of the Lewiston Municipal Association and the Maine Association of Retirees, and the American Legion, Post 153 in New Auburn.
He was an avid gardener and enjoyed sharing his abundant crop with everyone. He also took great pride in his grandchildren’s accomplishments, both scholastically and their various sports. Always very thoughtful, he was a kind, caring and giving man and was a friend to many.
Besides his loving wife of Lewiston, survivors include a son, Daniel and wife, Kimberly, of Chestertown, Md.; two stepsons, Jeffrey Poulin of Tucson, Ariz., and Glenn Poulin and wife, Larna, of Turner; a brother, Lucien and wife, Mary, of Ebensburgh, Pa.; three sisters, Denise Lacasse of Lewiston, Madeleine Luce of Lisbon and Claudette and husband, Philip Guerrette, of Glenburn; five grandchildren, Devin and Kelsey Lessard, and Adam, Amanda, and Austin Poulin; and longtime family friend, D.J. Wyllie of Belfast. He was adored by his many nieces and nephews. Gill also will be missed by his loyal companion, Annabelle.