Armand Bilodeau (b.1914) and Gertrude Chalifoux (b. 1918) – History
“History of Beaumont (Alberta) and District 1885-1960” Copyright 1985
Armand Bilodeau, the oldest son of Thomas Bilodeau and Regina Moreau, was born on November 2, l914. In his earlier years, he attended Charest School. The school was open three months in the winter and went up to grade eight. He recalls the open classroom and the fact often he often listened to the lessons of higher grades. He says if one wants to learn, nothing can hinder him.He was brought up and worked on the family farm in the horse and buggy days. He worked hauling props to the Rabbit Hill coal mine near Ellerslie and hauling hay to dairy farmers. He also helped his neighbors in building new barns and houses. His eldest daughter, Lorraine, remembers one story he told of this time.One of the neighbors had an old tree that no one wanted to destroy, for sentimental reasons, so they had bought a stick of dynamite and tied it to the tree. After it was lit they had to get the horse away from the tree. Not thinking, they sent the dog to chase it. ”Wrecked a good cattle dog,” he would say. The shaking of his head belied by the amused glint in his eyes, he said: ”That dog would never leave the house again, and every time anything moved suddenly, it would yelp and run”.
In his leisure time, before his marriage, Mr. Bilodeau took part in small plays in the annual concert held in the church basement. There were also many dances and house parties. It was at one of these house parties, at the house of Aimé Hinse, he recalls, that he met his future bride, Gertrude Chalifoux, born April 21, 1918, daughter of Parfait Chalifoux and Rose Alma Lambert. Mrs. Bilodeau remembers he was the most attractive man at the party and also a very adept dancer, particularly at the French Minuet. Their courtship lasted five years, during which time they square danced, fox-trotted and waltzed their way into each other’s heart. Their wedding was a double ceremony with Miss Chalifoux’s brother, Paul, marrying Mr. Bilodeau’s sister, Gabrielle, on October 31, 1938. It took place in St. Vital Church, with Father Gaborit performing the ceremony.
Armand Bilodeau and his new wife Gertrude made their home on a farm southeast of Beaumont, where they lived for eleven years. Together, they worked on their farm and Mr. Bilodeau also worked in logging camps during the winter months. In those years, their seven children were born. The first, Lorraine, married Mel Berglund. The second, Gilbert, married Shirley Sutkowski. Daniel married Olga Lompik. Roland married Lorraine Tokar. Suzanne married Greg Wintrup, Léo married Carron Burkart. Marc married Alice Desjarlais. The Bilodeaus are grandparents to twenty- four children, and great grandparents to four.
After the birth of their last child, Mr. and Mrs. Bilodeau sold their farm in Beaumont and moved to west Edmonton, where they lived for the next twenty-eight years. They became parishioners of St. Anne’s Parish under the guidance of Father Jacob. Mr. Bilodeau, after working for a contracting firm named Prather, began his own construction company, ”Bilodeau & Sons”. Presently, they are enjoying their retirement, living on an acreage near Morinville with their children and grand-children nearby.
Update: Armand Bilodeau died in 1984, in Morinville from a stroke. Gertrude remarried and is currently living in West Edmonton.