Louis Maxwell Anderson was born May 15, 1924 in Kapown, which is across the bay from Grouard, to Alice Supernault and Peter Anderson. He was third youngest in a family of nine children.
Because of an illness in the family and the loss of his parents, Louis ended up having to live with his brother George. In order for the younger kids to go to the Mission in Grouard, Uncle Ernie [one of Louis’ older brothers] converted the family to the Catholic faith. Louis attended the St. Bernard Mission from the age of 7-15 years.
After leaving the convent, Louis, as a teenager, ventured out to many places to work as a labourer wherever he could. He even ended up in Valemont, B.C. with some friends after they hobo’d a train.
Upon returning back to where he grew up, Louis met Clara Shaw in 1941 and they settled in Grouard. He worked for George Hopkins’ sawmill in the winter months north of Grouard. In the summer months, he worked hard at the planer mill to earn lumber which he moved to Peavine to build his home.
My mom, Vi, at the age of four, holds a memory of travelling with mom and dad, on a team of horses to many communities like Reno, Falher, Marie Reine and Harmon Valley. She remembers living in a grainery while mom and dad worked for the farmers during the harvest months. It was during this era six children were born.
Louis was known as the best pool shark in Grouard. The word was that no one around could beat him at this game. After living in Peavine, he would also play tournaments at Borsky’s Pool Hall in High Prairie. I wonder, where did he find the time to be a pool shark and to have all these kids? Uncle Claude remembers a time that Blackie Carifelle thought he was a good pool shark until he met Louis.
Louis always aspired to be a farmer. He had purchased a saddle horse in Grouard and acquired some cows which Uncle Leonard looked after and soon his farming career started. His cousin Laura Andrews was already living here in Peavine and told him how good the soil was. It was then he came to Peavine to scout out this land. He stayed at Joe Kappo’s during those times. He built his house/homestead and was helped by Pierre and George Andrews; and Robert ‘Chiboy’ Carifelle. He moved his family and his cattle during school holidays here before the house being finished and they lived in a tent.
Louis was a very hard working man, clearing his land with just an ax, eventually acquiring a power saw the next year. He did all of this with the help of his stepson, Fred. Together, they also built pastures because the cows had to come home. He also did pulpwood, trapped and commercial fished in Whitefish Lake with his son Lawrence, which was a side job for Louis.
It was during these years his family grew. Life was never easy during those times as there was no running water or power.
In 1957, along with Boo-Doo-Wah [Frank Noskey], Louis owned and operated a sawmill which was close to L. Lake. Although there were many trials and difficulties, they still maintained the sawmill for many years.
Louis lost mom in 1970 and was a widower for several years. He eventually met Mable, a beautiful and wonderful lady and for many years she helped him raise his youngest children.
We all remember dad for his stern, very strict, neat and tidy ways. All meals were eaten at the table together and no elbows on the table; no sleeping in at all. The older children had chores like hauling snow and water, chopping wood, feeding animals and milking cows which left not much time to play.
Louis was not one for a lot of attention and just led a simple life. However, he was a huge avid NHL hockey and North Peace Hockey League High Prairie Regals and Lakeland Eagles fan. We all know that he also loved reading his newspapers and journals.
Even though there was not much time to play there were many hilarious memories. Like the time Auntie Dorothy had a scar on her head from trying to milk a calf, only to discover it was a bull calf. It kicked her in the head. Auntie Thelma was taught by Louis to chop wood. She decided to do it her own way, only to have a piece of wood fly up and stick into her forehead. She, too, has a scar.
And when mom and dad were gone the kids always had their own little mini-rodeos in the barnyard. Auntie Thelma threw Auntie Sandra on a calf, she went shooting out of the barn while holding onto the calf’s tail. When it bucked her off she was still holding onto a piece of the tail.
Louis is survived by his children: daughter Violet [Peter Chalifoux]; daughter Thelma [Rocky Walker]; daughter Dorothy Anderson; son Lawrence Anderson [Gloria]; daughter Sandra [Kenny Cunningham]; daughter Eileen Dvornek [John]; daughter Lorraine Anderson; son Claude Anderson; daughter Sharon [Joe Cardinal]; son Glen [Charlene Anderson] and daughter Adele [James Ominiyak]. He also leaves a beautiful legacy with 41 grandchildren, 90 great-grandchildren, and 24 great-great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by: his parents, Alice and Peter; his wife, Clara; a stepson, Fred; his brothers George, Ernie, Joseph, Leonard, and Sammy; his sisters Amy, Lena, and Leonie; three infant sons; grandsons Darrel, Chris and Jeremy; and numerous little great grandchildren.
Louis left us all with great work ethic, values and morals, pride in our families and he was known to share whatever he could with family and neighbours.
It’s evident that dad left a great farming legacy through his sons and they are very proud to continue on this farming legacy. Uncle Boy has taken over dad’s cattle brand and it showed with some of dad’s personal artifacts like his existing fence, tools, saddles, etc. that his sons, grandsons and their friends proudly displayed at our dad’s Celebration of Life. Uncle Boy lovingly wears this brand on his necklace.
We honour you, dad, although we will truly miss you in our everyday lives. We know that you are with all our loved ones that have gone before.
Today, dad, we don’t say goodbye, however, we say that we will see you again.
Dad, we love you. Today, we Close the Gate.
Close the Gate
For this one farmer the worries are over, lie down and rest your head,
Your time has been and struggles enough, put the tractor in the shed.
Years were not easy, many downright hard, but your faith in God transcended,
Put away your tools and sleep in peace. The fences have all been mended.
You raised a fine family, worked the land well and always followed the Son,
Hang up your shovel inside of the barn; your work here on earth is done.
A faith few possess led your journey through life, often a jagged and stony way,
The sun is setting, the cattle are all bedded, and here now is the end of your day.
Your love of God’s soil has passed on to your kin; the stories flow like fine wine,
Wash off your work boots in the puddle left by blessed rain one final time.
You always believed that the good Lord would provide and He always had somehow