VAN CAUWENBERGE, Charles

Cauwenberge_Charles

Van Cauwenberge - Charles passed away peacefully with his wife at his side, in the Three Hills hospital on April 20, 2011 after a long and satisfying life at the age of 91. Camille Charles Louis Levien was born on February 25, 1920 in Audenove, St Marie, Belguim. His parents were farmers and spoke only Flemish. He was the eldest of seven children. The family moved to France in 1931. After the death of his father in 1934 dad quit school to work on the farm. Charles learned the French language. During the war and the occupation of France by Germany he also learned some German. Charles had met Andre Bleriot (Bleriot ferry) who had come to Canada in the late 1880's. When Charles decided to come to Alberta he left France and landed in Halifax on Feb.29, 1952. He came to Edmonton and then to Trochu where he worked at the Frere's farm, then to Cochrane, logging during the winter months where he bought his beloved, 1947 Willy's jeep, returning to Trochu in 1953. He married Yvonne (Frere) de Beaudrap on April 18, 1953 and they bought a half section three miles north of Three Hills where they lived until his passing. They have two children, Colette who married Gary Rose and Pat who married Terra Albrecht. In the fifties they raised a few head of cattle, chickens, selling eggs to help with the groceries, as well as raising rabbits and pigeons. Some years' grain had to be piled on the ground, and then hauled home after harvest. With grain quotas being very low, Charles had to build a number of granaries in those years as well as other farm buildings. There were years when the yields were fairly good but with frost and a wet harvest the quality went down with prices as low as ninety cents per bushel for wheat and seventy cents for feed barley. In 1956 Charles bought the first International self propelled swather in the area which he still used to open up fields until only a few years ago. Dad always carried his rabbit gun while in the fields and quite a few times we had wild rabbit for supper, When the children grew older Mom took over the role of "hired hand" to run the combine while dad hauled grain to the bins. Charles had a passion for bringing in the harvest, his reward for a year's worth of work. During early harvests, he worked back and forth with Lou and Paul Frere and at times with Pete, Mike and Maurice Frere. He loved to run his open air "410"combine, wearing a hard hat liner, goggles, heavy coat and scarf and when the wind blew he looked more like "Snoopy chasing the Red Baron." Dad was not one to waste anything, something he learned as a necessity during the hard times of the war, therefore there were piles of metal, piles of wood, pails of old nails that needed to be straightened before being re-used and many tobacco cans full of nuts and bolts. They started planting shelterbelts on the farm in 1957. These seedlings grew in the garden, seeds from the older trees. One year they planted over 1000 trees. Mom would usually say that was how they would spent many of their wedding anniversaries. When Dad build something, whether is was made of wood or iron or steel, it was built strong and made to last and was very heavy. It was said "that you could tell how hard Charlie was working by the amount of smoke coming from his cigars". Dad and Mom took several trips to France to visit the relatives on both sides of the family. 1n1978 they acquired a Dodge van which dad camperizing and over the years they made several trips down east to visit the Beaudet family and enjoyed these trips through the Prairies and eastern Canada. The grandsons learned early on that if they needed something fixed they would go see dad and say "papa fix." He would fix anything from toys to shoes to clothes. Charles could also be seen with his faithful jeep and wagon out along the ditches or water runs, cutting the tall grass with his scythe, to feed the horses or elk. If he wasn't running around the farm with his jeep, he would be on his bicycle. Later on Pat took over the farm with the help of Gary and Colette. When Charles gave up cultivating the fields, he turned to cultivating the garden. He was very meticulous and there probably wasn't a straighter row of vegetables in the country and he would even rake between the rows to remove mom's or anyone else's footprints. He worked hard all his life at everything he did and he claimed that that is what did him in. He will be sadly missed by Yvonne, his wife of 58 years. His daughter Colette (Gary) Rose, grandsons Eric and Steven Rose and son Pat (Terra) grandsons Taylor and Rene Van Cauwenberge, all of Trochu, his sisters Paulo Van Cauwenberge and Agnes Gauthier of Camrose. A special nephew, Patrick (Francine) Fustier of Quebec, nephew Eric (Marie-Louise) Van Cauwenberge of France, Christine (Dominique) Rousseaux of France, Phillippe (Cheryl) Gauthier of Sprucegrove, Alberta and numerous brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law and and nieces and nephews all in Canada. Charles was predeceased by his 18 month old brother, Paul in 1927, his father Richard Alphonse in March 1934, his mother Marie (nee) Coppens in 1941, brother-in-law Francois Gauthier in March 1980, his brother Franc in 1998 and Franc's wife Genevieve in 2003, both of France, his sister Margot on September 22, 2007 of Camrose, and grandson Ernest Allen Rose on June 22, 1979 of Trochu. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the C.W.L. Trochu or to St. Mary's Health Care Centre in Trochu. Prairie Winds Funeral Home in care of arrangements 403-442-2200.