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Donald Lortie

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Donald Laurent Lortie Sr. (August 25, 1930 – August 5, 2006) was a Canadian professional wrestler best known as Mysterious Medic #2 during his time as one half of the tag team The Masked Medics. Lortie was trained by his wrestling uncles, also tag team competitors, and began his in-ring career in 1954 and retired in 1968 after 14 years.

Life and career

Born August 25, 1930 in Montreal, Quebec, his uncles were Bob and Paul Lortie, a pair of grappling brothers who found success both in La Belle Province, and abroad. Two of his cousins, Andre and Paul (who was sometimes known as Ray) started before Donald, but their careers lasted only a short time. It was only natural that a young Donald Lortie would go into the grappling game as well. Like his cousins, he trained at Palais Nationale, starting at age 17, and he became a talented Greco-Roman amateur. His uncles had a hand in his schooling as a professional. Coming in at 5-foot-11, he explained in an interview in early 2002 how his physique developed. "I started at 180 in Montreal and I gradually as the years go by ... I did a lot of workouts. I gained some weight. I go up to 190, 200, 220. I stopped at 220."

Paul Lortie was the biggest star, and regularly outshone his brother. Their native tongue allowed for foreign promoters to bill them from France. "The Famous French Champion. The hair-raising mauler. Devil-may-care. Do or Die. Just arrived back from S. Africa & Australia unbeaten," read a 1937 English poster promoting a Paul Lortie versus Maurice Letchford bout in Southampton. "The Ever Thrilling French Ace. The Sensational Drop Kick Artist. The lad of a Thousand Thrills," read another from 1936 in West Bromwich. Bob and Paul would later promote in and around Burlington, Vermont as well.

Outside of Quebec, Donald Lortie's first big break came in Northern Ontario, hitting logging towns under various guises, including Pierre DeGlane, and he quickly learned that there was a little more money in being a heel.

But it is his team with Gonzales that southern wrestling fans most remember. The two met in Texas, and became a smash hit in sterile uniforms in 1962, when Gulf Coast promoter Rocky McGuire dubbed them the Masked Medics. They would team in the Gulf Coast territory of Louisiana-Alabama-Florida for many years, with success also coming in Texas and Tennessee.

Lortie learned to love life in Louisiana. "Most of the places I liked were in the South, actually. New Orleans or Baton Rouge or Layfayette. All of those places." Home would become a small town 40 miles from New Orleans. "I settled in the big name -- Saint Amant!" he recalled with a hearty laugh, his French-Canadian accent flavoured with the distinctiveness of Cajun and Creole.

Retirement

He recalled his decision to quit. "I was sitting in a hotel ... I had three kids and I was tired and travelling and all that. I decided it's either my kids or wrestling. I think, well, that was it. The weekend came, and I went to the promoter and told him, 'Goodbye, I'm finished, that's it.' So I just quit." (Actually, he did work on rare occasions after that moment, and a serious shoulder finally finished him off in 1968.)

Lortie worked as a longshoreman for Allied Chemical in Baton Rouge, and retired there after 17 years. "I think I made the right decision. It was rough. Either side you want to look at it, it was rough."

Personal life

Lortie is the nephew of Bob Lortie and Paul Lortie, two former professional wrestlers and a third uncle named Rene. His two cousins Andre and Paul are Rene's sons. Lortie was married to Claire Lambert Lortie for 49 years. The couple had two daughters, Lucette, Monique, two sons Jacques P Lortie of Ottawa, Canada, and Donald L. Lortie Jr. of Grangerville. His extended family includes granddaughters, Chevonne A. Molliere, Nicole Anderson, Richelle Anderson, Caitlyn E. Guice, Yvette E. Lortie and Samantha C. Kimrey; great-grandchildren, Taylor Anderson, Mikaylah Molliere, Autumn and Malik Polar, Gabriel Mizell and Sebastian Malone; stepgrandchildren, Harold L Kimrey III, Hollie K. Weston and Matthew W. Kimrey; stepgreat-grandchildren, Melissa, Tyler, Sarah and Gavin Weston, and a host of sisters-in-law, brother-in-law, nieces and nephews.

Death

Lortie died on August 5, 2006, August 5 of congestive heart failure, after a lengthy illness and a six-year battle with Alzheimer's. He died only 25 days before his 76th birthday.

In wrestling

  • Tag Teams
  • Stables
  • Wrestlers Trained

Championships and accomplishments

  • NWA Southern Tag Team Championships

External links

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