William “Bill” Rocheleau, Jr. was born in Lewiston, Maine, on May 31, 1925. His parents were both Canadian immigrants, and came to Lewiston to work in the mills. His father eventually became a supervisor at the Bates Mill. Bill left high school early to pursue duty in the Navy, doing underwater demolition. When he returned stateside, he went to Portland Junior College. He then went to the University of Maine at Orono, and graduated in 1951. He returned to the Navy to fight in the Korean War. When he finally left the Navy, he returned to Maine and became interested in law. He initially attended Boston University, but completed his law degree at the University of Maine School of Law. During law school, he owned and operated the Cavalier Inn in Lewiston. Following graduation, he practiced law and became active in politics. He became Corporation Counsel in Lewiston under Mayor Robert Couturier. In 1966, he became Mayor of Lewiston at the height of Model Cities. The Lewiston Central fire station was built while he was in office. He also secured the land for Lewiston High School. After he was Mayor, he led the Lewiston High School building committee. He eventually left public life to practice law in Lewiston.
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O'Brien, Stuart, "Rocheleau, Bill oral history interview" (1998). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 344.