Bonneau Charles (1899-1982)* ref.397

Picture of Charles Bonneau , found in the archives of the Ralliement des Familles Bonneau.

Year of birth in : Born March 27, 1899, in Montréal, Québec

Year of death in : February 12, 1982

Father name : Bonneau Trefflé (1864-1937)* ref.193

Mother name :Vaudry Marie-Louise

Profession : Working on ranch and farms, military and cook

Wife : Gaudry Hélène

Marriage :August 21, 1922in Shell River,Saskatchewan

Children :

Picture of Charles and Hélène Gaudry, found in the archives of the Ralliement des Familles Bonneau

Texte found in the archives of The Ralliement des familles Bonneau




Word of Mouth Newspaper Clippings


Charles Bonneau, the son of Trèfflé Bonneau and Marie-Louise Vaudry, was born March 27, 1899, in Montréal, Québec. (His mother had gone there for the winter, and to visit relatives.) He was a fine figure of a man, with brown hair, brown eyes and, all in all, someone with a pleasant personality. Anyone who has ever met Charles can attest to the fact that he was a jovial sort of fellow, very talkative, and pleasant to be with. And, it is said, he found little difficulty in flirting with the young ladies of the area!

However, as evidenced, he found himself attracted to a pretty and charming young lady (albeit of Métis ancestry) by the name of Marie Hélène Gaudry. She was born on April 11, 1906, in Willow Bunch, the daughter of Joseph Gaudry and Marie Hélène Chartrand. Clearly, Charles became infatuated with Hélène's charm and, as they became inseparable, the two made plans to marry.

It has often been recounted by Bonneau family elders, that there was considerable animosity within family ranks concerning Charles' upcoming marriage, as some family members would have preferred he marry someone closer to their own social standing.


Be that as it may, it is evident that love conquered the day, and Charles was able to persuade the family his young lady would make him a fine wife. However, it would appear that Hélène=s parents had by then moved to the northern part of the province, as they were united in marriage in Shell River, Sask., on August 21, 1922. (Shell River, 1916-42, was the original name of a postal outlet west of Debden on highway #793 in northern Saskatchewan. After 1942 it became known as Victoire, Sask., after the parish of Notre Dame de Victoire.)

In the beginning theirs was a happy marriage and, through the years, Hélène bore Charles 14 children, eight girls and six boys. Moreover, for the duration of their married life, they resided in Willow Bunch which is where their children were born and where they made many friends. Unfortunately, however, it appears Hélène came to be somewhat wanting for a healthy aversion to Aspirits.@That, coupled with the many pressures of life which continually took their toll, made it ever more difficult for the family to get by on Charles=meagre income. Finally, the love Charles and Hélène once had for each other died, and they inevitably parted ways in the mid 1940s.


Following their separation, Hélène and the children left Willow Bunch for Moose Jaw, Sask., where she essayed to earn a living. By then, however, five of their children were deceased, and the eldest siblings were quite capable of fending for themselves. Yet, though they, along with their mother, strove to care for the family as best they could, these times remained very difficult for them and the two youngest of the family (Mervin and Charlene) were necessarily placed in foster homes. Fortunately, though they were each placed in a separate home, both had good foster parents and were raised to be responsible citizens. Amazing as it may seem, all of Charles and Hélène's children never once lost contact with each other as a family, and all appear to be respected citizens in their own right.

On May 17, 1956, their mother, Marie Hélène (Gaudry) Bonneau, passed away of a heart attack in Moose Jaw, Sask., and is buried there.


As or Charles, though he turned his hand at many things throughout his life, he always struggled to earn a living. His first endeavour was at ranching, since the circumstances were favourable to do so, and then he farmed for a short while. In the end, his life's work was to be in the military, where he was employed as a cook from the early 1940s until his retirement. From the information that can be gathered at this point, Charles was a very proficient cook, and was often called upon to prepare special meals for the Officers' Mess!

Following his retirement from the military, Charles took up residence in a suite in Moose Jaw to be closer to his children. At the time his health was still fairly good, and he was able to enjoy his retirement for several years. He even remarried, sometime in the early 1960s, but that didn’t work out and they each took their leave. In later years, when his health began to deteriorate, Charles succumbed to his daughter Lauretta's beckoning and went to live with her.


A considerable time later came that fateful day of February 12, 1982, when Charles Bonneau passed away after a brief illness, a man content that he had lived his life as well as he was able. His congenial personality and warm smile remain ever in the hearts of all who knew him!

All and all, Charles and Hélène were two unique people who will always be remembered and sadly missed by their children, grandchildren, and great-grand children.

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