Obituary – Gaston Joseph Arthur Charest

Gaston Charest

Gaston, son of Benjamin Charest and Cora Gagne, was born in Kedgwich, N.B. on Aug. 8, 1923.
At age four, Gaston moved with his family to Girouxville, AB. He attended Pelletier School and when old enough he worked for St. Andre’s lumber camp and the Dufour farm in Spirit River.
At age 18, Gaston enlisted in the army. He trained two months in Camrose and Calgary before heading to Vancouver to do further training. At that time he joined his brother, Roger, and they both signed up to go overseas.
Together they crossed the English Channel in the spring of 1944, finishing their training in Yorkshire, England.
He was then separated from his brother, as they did not keep brothers together, and Gaston was sent to Italy. He started as a Private in the General Reinforcements operating from a truck and then became a foot soldier, moving from location to location as needed.
Gaston eventually went to the northern part of Holland with the Second Canadian Division where the Germans had possession of the Frisian Islands. Gaston was injured when near Leeuwarden, Holland. He was shot in the foot by a German soldier who was shooting at the Canadian soldiers while surrendering.
Leaving Holland nine days before the end of the war, he was transported to London, England for hospitalization. Sadly, his brother Roger did not return and is buried in Holland.
Following the war, he bought a quarter section of land on which he settled. Gaston married Noella Giroux on Nov. 7, 1951 and started a family. He continued to work in lumber camps, becoming saw operator at McRae Lumber in Faust, AB.
The family continued to grow and in 1962 Gaston decided to remain on the farm as their six children [Doris, Michel, Daniel, Carol, Viviane, and Lise] started going to school.
Gaston was a grain and cattle farmer. They raised cattle, chickens, pigs and grew amazing gardens providing ample food for the family.
He was a skilled carpenter, building his family home, and developing his farm site. In his spare time he did woodworking, creating toys for the grandchildren and taking on the challenge of any pattern of puzzle, bowl, table and lawn ornament that he could find in his woodworking magazines. The children all remember him making “one of everything” for each of them.
Gaston and Noella did some travelling with one highlight being a trip to Leeuwarden, Holland in 1995 for the 50th anniversary of the Liberation of Holland.
Gaston also enjoyed fishing and camping with Noella and sometimes the whole family, having great family camping trips. He cherished his 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren and was proud of all of them.
Gaston was 90 years young, living independently with Noella when they moved off the farm to a home they purchased in Falher. A few years later they moved into the Villa Beausejour. Noella passed away two years ago now and he has joined her to be together forever.
Gaston is survived by his children; Doris [Wayne], Michel [Michelle], Daniel [Suzanne], Carol, Viviane [Robert], and Lise [Richard] as well as grandchildren; René [Maggie], Marielle [Connor], Josée [Neil], Rémi, André [Joelle], Julie, Patrick [Montana], Joel [Courtney], Marc [Jing], Luc [Crystal], Rachelle, Geoffrey, Adam, and 10 great-grandchildren; Evelyn, Chloé, Sebastien, Baylor, Noella, Alexandre, Juliette, Nolan, Hugo and Félix.
He also leaves behind three of his sisters: Lorraine Borque, Julienne Gerlinsky, and Monique Gardecki.

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