Paul R Levasseur was born on June 22, 1926, third eldest of seven children in Lowell, Massachusetts. He grew up during the Great Depression; his first job was selling newspapers on a street corner at age 6 to help support his family. This would continue until he had to quit school after the seventh grade in order to work full time.

At the age of 17, he volunteered for the United States Army and was part of the liberation of Europe. He was in the second invasion wave, Omaha Beach, D-Day, three weeks before his eighteenth birthday. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, fell ill with the flu, and was cared for and hidden by a Dutch family. That triggered his lifelong love of Holland and its people.

After WW II, in 1947 he met and married Marion J Meyer in Coburg, Germany during the US Army occupation. Neither spoke the other’s language, instead of communicating through the language of love. Paul and Marion had a son; they named him Paul.

During the ensuing years, he provided for his family in any way he could. He cut up cars for scrap, swept floors at a high school, worked as a machinist and as a milk truck driver. After a severe back injury, he spent 3 months in a VA hospital in Togus, Maine. While in the hospital, he broke his denture. It was repaired within hours in the in-house dental laboratory. He never forgot.

After healing well enough to be able to go back to limited work, he was tested by the Vocational Rehabilitation Division of the Department of Labor of the State of Maine. Given many options, he remembered his broken denture and was intrigued by the prospect of becoming a dental technician, so when the position as an apprentice in a dental laboratory was offered Paul was pleased. Skilled with his hands, he soon became the head denture setup technician. He was also fast, averaging 32 set-ups a day in the era of porcelain teeth.

Branching out on his own, he bristled at the lack of respect accorded the technicians and dentistry’s high fees charged to their patients for dentures and the laboratory technician’s low fees – what the dentists actually paid the technician for making the denture. Soon he was circumventing repressive dental laws and making dentures for people without the middleman – the dentist. Eventually, he was prosecuted for illegal dentistry. He was fortunate to draw a compassionate judge. Since that judge’s brother was one of Paul’s satisfied clients, the judge looked for any excuse to dismiss the charges. He found that excuse, much to the aggravation of the many dentists in court that day.

Around the mid-seventies, the Denturist movement came to Maine. John Merrill, John Hussey, Ed Bates, Paul, and others managed to get the profession regulated. Sort of; the profession was recognized but cleverly controlled. Unfortunately, the Maine dental board was tasked with setting up the curriculum for denturist education. They set it up as a dental school. So much for Denturism for the next 18 years. However, right would eventually win and George Brown College entered the scene. Denturists won their independence.

Paul and Marion established Standish Denture Clinic (SDC). Drawing patients from as far as 150 miles, SDC became the premier source of high-quality dentures, offering affordable denture care in southern and central Maine, northern New Hampshire, and the Lake Champlain areas of Vermont and New York.

In its forty-seventh year, Standish Denture Clinic has proven to be a tribute to Paul and Marion’s vision of affordable denture care for everyone, with 4 offices and well over 50,000 satisfied patients. Their vision is continued by their son, Paul, also a denturist, who now serves the children and grandchildren of the patients his father served. He admits he was not intrigued by the business, but necessity required him to ask his father for a job. When his father retired he was forced to step up and take responsibility. Paul says, “My father made me a man.”

In later years, Paul and Marion have championed their favorite charities including youth boxing and Special Olympics in their second home in St. Kitts, West Indies, and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. From street urchins to successful businessmen, Paul proved that the American dream still exists. He passed away from cancer on Thanksgiving Day 2008. His vision lives on as young people proudly enter the profession with the same determination to serve. We are proud to honor a genuine pioneer.