2016-03-24 / Community News

Local men named to hall of fame

Two Biddeford residents were inducted into the Franco- American Hall of Fame in August last week.

Marcel R. Viger, 86, was born in Salem, Massachusetts on April 4, 1929. He resided in Biddeford for 52 years.

Recently, he moved to The Atria Assisted Living Facility in Kennebunk. Viger practiced law in Biddeford for more than 35 years. He was one of only a few attorneys in the area who spoke French; thus, he was an advocate for the French speaking community. As an attorney in private practice, he was often sought out because of his bilingual ability. He was invaluable in providing legal counsel to those who needed someone to explain things in French and subsequently represent them in English. Since many French people experienced difficulties with obtaining loans, Viger joined Robert R. Gosselin and Albert Deshaies and started St. Joseph’s Federal Credit Union. He served as the first president of the credit union and was a board member. In addition, Viger served as solicitor for the city of Biddeford through the 1970s. Viger was also involved in the choir at St. Joseph Church, the restoration project of Saint Joseph’s Church, Tri-City chorus and St. Louis Alumni. Notably, Viger is a veteran of the U.S. Army. Raymond C. Gaudette Sr., 78, was born on Oct. 13, 1936 in Biddeford and died on July 2, 2015. He attended Biddeford schools and was employed with West Point Stevens (formerly Peppered Manufacturing) as a chemical and dye mixer for 43 years. He retired in 1999.

Gaudette was a member of the Franco-American Genealogical Society, which was founded in 1982 and the Biddeford Historical Society, serving as president for two terms. He was also a member and past president of the York County Genealogical Society of Franco-Americans. While employed at West Point Stevens, he served as steward and past president of the local AFL-CIO. He was on the Biddeford City Council in 1968 and 1969 and had been a board member of Laconia Credit Union.

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