Felix Boisvert 1875-1955

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Joseph Narcisse Felix Boisvert, our direct ancestor, was born Sept 26 1875, in Lewiston, Maine. His baptismal was at the catholic church Saint Peter et Saint Paul. Located at 27 Bartlett St. He was the son of Joseph Pierre Boisvert of Danville, Quebec and Emilie Marcotte, of Richmond, Quebec. Those attending were his father Joseph Pierre Boisvert and mother Emilie Marcotte.

General Custer and his men are killed by Sioux Indians in 1876. Jack the Ripper murders six women in 1888. The Spanish American war took place in 1898.

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell invents telephone, followed by the phonograph by Thomas Edison. The light bulb is invented in 1879. Nichola Tesla invents electric motor in 1888. Hertz identifies radio waves.

Felix Narcisse Joseph Boisvert was living in Lewiston, Maine in 1883, when Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show came to town during its first year of travel and was living in Lewiston, Maine in 1888 when a hurricane-force blizzard assaulted the area.

The Eiffel Tower is built in 1889. The first moving picture is shows in 1890. Henry Ford builds first car in 1893. In 1899, aspirin is first manufactured. The first flight by the Wright brothers in 1903. Ford Motor Company is established and Albert Einsteins Special Theory of Relativity is published in 1905.

Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon introduces cubism in 1907.  World War I begins in 1914, with the United States entering combat in 1917. Women’s suffrage (19th) amendment ratified m 1920. In 1925, Hitler publishes Volume I of Mein Kampf. The Jazz Singer, with Al Jolson, first part-talking motion picture was shown in 1927. 1929 brought the  U.S., stock market prices collapse, with U.S. securities losing $26 billion—first phase of Depression and world economic crisis. Adolf Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany in 1933.

World War Two begins in 1939. The Japanese attached the U.S. base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The United States declares war on Japan. Germany surrenders in 1945. U.S. drops atomic bombs on Japanese cities of Hiroshima (Aug. 6) and Nagasaki (Aug. 9). Japan surrenders. In 1947 Jackie Robinson joins the Brooklyn Dodgers. Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl published. The Korean War begins in 1950-1953. U.S. Supreme Court (in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka) unanimously bans racial segregation in public schools in 1954.

Spouse: Lillian Verrette

Felix Narcisse Boisvert, 29, marries Lillian Verrette in the fall of 1904 in Amesbury, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Frank Verrette and Lucinda Descoteau. Lillian was born in July 2,  1881, she died from Tuberculosis in 1916 at the age of 39.

Lewiston, Maine

When Felix was a young child, his mother Emilie died of reasons unknown. Emilies death left Felixes father, Joseph Pierre scrambling, with Felix and his brother, both under 2 years old, unable to take care of themselves.

Joseph Pierre married again in 1880 to Delphine Lemiuex, giving 5-year old Felix and 7-year old Joseph a mother again. As a young boy, Felix attended school for three months, but was pulled out by his father Joseph. A local lawyer saw Felixes thirst for learning and offered to take Felix on so that he could continue his education. Joseph declined, needing Felix to work and help out the family financially. This was common for families to have children start working at a young age. Without formal education, Felix taught himself to read and write English and French.

Felix worked with his dad and brother in the woods together, Felix as a second hand (apprentice, helper). Normal wages were $1.00 a day, but since Felix was working along side Joseph, they were paid $1.25 a day.

In 1887 at age 11, Felix worked at the cotton mills in Lewiston. Cotton mills were plentiful, Felix could have worked at Androscoggin Mills (Arkwright Co.), Hill Manufacturing, Lincoln Mill, Lewiston Mill, or Bates Mill. Child labor in the textile mills was standard. In fact, before Maine’s child labor law of 1887 children as young as 7 could be employed to perform some of the hard, monotonous tasks of manufacturing textiles

The Lumber Jack

While the rest of his family worked and played in Lewiston, Felix decided travel to northern Maine.

Biddeford Maine Directory, 1890-91
Occupation -Teamster
Location – 5 1/2 Emery

Around the age of 15, Felix joined the lumber camps as a cooks helper. One day he was carrying food supplies up to the loggers, when the foreman noticed Felix hauling the heavy load. Impressed, the foreman told Felix to come back the next day and work on one of the cutting crews.

During Felix’s time as a lumberjack, northern Maine was totally isolated from the rest of Maine. The cutting was done all winter long. The only roads that existed from Bangor were a series of treacherous tote roads used to haul supplies with teams of oxen. The three hundred mile trip from Bangor to the northern wood camps was a dangerous one. Black bears and other predators in search of food would take down oxen and raid supply wagons.

The loggers worked in primitive conditions by today’s standards. They built their own camps out of logs, they had dirt floors and thatched roofs equipped with a hole for the release of smoke from their fires. Their workday began at dawn and finished at dark. They worked in crews of 4 or 5 men. In the crew there were 2 choppers, someone to tend the sled and horses (called a teamster), and someone to help unload at the landing (called a yard man). Oxen were used to haul the timber to the rivers, to handle the large trees, 12-14 oxen were teamed up. Most of the timber was harvested during the winter months and placed in large piles until the spring thaw.

Once the ice left the rivers in the spring the massive harvest was floated down the Aroostook, Androscoggin and St. John rivers. Logging did not pay well, and most men needed a secondary job. However, t  he workers who stayed on, did it for the thrill and danger of the spring log drive.

The log drive and the wildlife were not the only dangers Felix had to contend with. One time while the lumberjacks were clearing a log jam, Felix was sent to get more dynamite. He strapped the fragile dynamite to his back and began his hike back. Getting close to the site, Felix slowed to cross a stream. Upon hearing a blast, a large chunk of rock landed a few feet from him. At that point Felix realized that if he was a few feet to the left he would have gotten hit.

If the blow of the rock didn’t kill him, the dynamite on his back would have finished the job. Eventually, Felix became a teamster on the cutting crews. Driving the log filled sleds to the rivers. He was living in Biddeford, Maine during the summers of 1890 and 1891.

Logging was a year long process, but many including Felix took summers off to travel and search for different work. In 1900, Felix now 24, was living in a house on Park Street in Lewiston. He was living with a Leclair family and one of his best friends, George “Willy” Leclair. While Willy was working as a baker, Felix as working at Luster Shoe Shop.

City Directory, Springfield, Mass, 1890 Census Substitute
Boisvert, Felix, employee Chapman Mfg Co, h 40 Water, I O

City Directory, Lewiston, Maine 1900 – 1901
Boisvert, Felix, shoemaker, bds, 171 Park
Boisvert, Joseph P., laborer, h 171 Park

Marching Band, Temperance Society

As mentioned earlier, Maine was at the forefront of the temperance movement that culminated with the 1920 ban of alcohol throughout the United States

While Felix’s father Joseph bent and broke prohibition laws, Felix embraced them. He joined a Temperance Society and was member of the marching band. The contrast between Felix and his father, Joseph begs to ask the questions about their relationship.

A Falling Out?

There are events that happened in Felix’s life that when looked at individually are unremarkable. Add them together, and there is a consistent pattern. These events suggest a falling out with his father, Joseph Pierre.

Unlike his older brother who worked in the same factories as his father, Felix left Lewiston at a very young age. Not only leaving, but traveling hundreds of miles away to the most remote part of the state. The first few years, Felix did not come back to Lewiston during the summers, but stayed in Biddeford, Maine.

While Joseph Pierre was drink-ing and bootlegging whisky across the border, Felix joined a temperance society when living in Lewiston. The society was the Saint Dominics Temperance Society. He was very active in the association. He marched in their band and they practiced and drilled. Felix’s beliefs and lifestyle choices were polar opposites of his father. He also wasn’t afraid to demonstrate his different opinions.

When Felix came back south in the summer of 1900, he worked for Listers Shoes. He decided to live in Lewiston, where he was paying room and board. All the while, his parents and brother lived in the same town. Breaking away from family and family support was unusual for Franco-Americans during this time.

Felix’s move to Detroit from Maine didn’t include father and step-mother who decided to stay in Maine. While talking to Barney Boisvert, there was an assumption, that Joseph Pierre died at a young age. On the contrary, he was alive when all of his grandchildren were born – including Barney. Though, he never saw them.

Amesbury, Massachusetts

Settled by Europeans in 1645, the town’s earliest industries included mills, shipyards and a heavily used ferry operation across the Merrimac River to Newburyport. There were always scattered farms in the community, but unlike most Colonial settlements, agriculture was secondary to an aggressive maritime and industrial economy.

By the 19th century, the shipbuilding, shipping and fishing which had employed most of the population was giving way to textiles, ironworks, saw and grist mills that had been established on a 90’ drop of the Powow River, which provided crucial water power.

Two of Amesbury’s most famous industries were hat making and carriage building. The carriage industry achieved some renown in the area. The carriage industry made the transition into the 20th century by converting its production into making automobile bodies, and until the Great Depression of 1929, auto body making was a major industry in the town.

Felix and Lillian

Felix Narcisse Joseph Boisvert married Lillian Ida Verrette in Amesbury, Massachusetts, on August 16, 1904, when he was 28 years old.

It was a summer excursion that lead Felix to the small town of Amesbury. He was walking in town and saw a horse drawn buggy wrapped around a post. Felix picked up the back of the buggy and swung the end around, dislodging the horse and carriage. The person in the stuck buggy was his future wife, Lillian Verrette.

Lillian Verrette was born July 2nd 1881 in Amesbury, Massachusetts, daughter of Francois J. Verrette and Lucinda Descoteau, (both from Quebec). The Verrettes were a well off and well thought of family in Amesbury. Father Francois J. Verrette was a brick layer and contractor.

Lillian had four sisters. Eugenia Verrette, born 1878, Eva Verrette, born 1887, Lena Verrette, born 1889, Rose Verrette, born 1891, and one brother, Frank J. Verrette, born 1876.

There was pressure from Lillian’s sisters, who didn’t care for Felix. They let her know, saying she could do better. Lillian was constantly asked by her friends what was she doing with that “old sock”.  As put out as the Verrette sisters were by Felix, the sentiment was mutual.

The conflict was the product of differing social classes and the storyline straight out of a Jane Austen novel. Felix grew up a block a way from the massive cotton mills in the crowded boroughs of Lewiston, Maine. He grew up watching his father, brother and fellow French Canadian immigrants scratch out a life in a new country. He moved out on his own at the age of 15. Worked the wilderness as a lumberjack.  Forced to worked at a young age, he had verry little formal education.

Lillian, on the other hand, from a middle class family surrounded by sitsters. Work wasn’t mandatory but an altruistic endevour. Lillian, would volunteer as was a school teacher for the local catholic church. This was family that was well liked and well established within Amesbury.

Because of the conflicts within Lillian’s family, over her relationship with Felix, we get a glimpse of who Lillian was. She was not one to bend from the pressures of her surrounding environment. The social class difference did not sway her and the bond that Felix and Lillian had wasn’t to be broken.

The question still needs to be asked, how did these two very different people fell in love. It’s not difficult to picture romanticized themes of two young lovers going against society. Or the oft told story of the rich girl falling for the poor boy from across the tracks. Its unknown if they hold true for Felix and Lillian. But without question, Lillian saw something very special in the man that rescued her.

After their marriage

Felix and Lillian were married in the late summer of 1904 in Amesbury, Massachusetts. Also that summer, Lillian (23) had a baby girl that died during childbirth, they named her Lillian. After their marriage, Felix and Lillian lived within her mothers house on Cedar Street in Amesbury. Lillians father had already died and her older brother was starting a family of his own. This left Lillian’s mother and sisters at home.

City Directory, Amesbury, Mass, 1904
Boisvert, Felix , Lampmaker, 1 Poplar

Even though Lillian’s family did not approve of Felix, it would have been convenient for them to have a man back in the house. As well, it would have been the best situation for Felix, who didn’t have enough money to purchase a house for his new bride.

After settling in, Felix worked in a lamp factory. Lillian’s brother Frank J. Verrette also worked in a lamp factory and may have helped his brother-in-law get the job. Meanwhile, Lillian continued to teach. Another girl was born on August 1, 1905. They named her Millicent Lillian Boisvert.

City Directory, Amesbury, Mass, 1905
Boisvert, Felix , Lampmaker, 30 Collins

City Directory, Amesbury, Mass, 1906
Boisvert, Felix , Lampmaker, 30 Collins

City Directory, Amesbury, Mass, 1907
Boisvert, Felix , Lampmaker, 30 Collins

City Directory, Amesbury, Mass, 1908
Boisvert, Felix , Lampmaker, 190 Elm

City Directory, Amesbury, Mass, 1909
Boisvert, Felix , Lampmaker, 190 Elm

Their third child, named Jeanette Boisvert, followed five years later, born on May 7, 1910.

Detroit, Michigan

By 1900, Detroit was a prosperous center of rail and water transportation, banking, law, manufacturing, and an outlet for farm products. The 19th century mansions that lined Jefferson and Woodward Avenues were giving way to commercial development. Then Henry Ford, and hundreds like him, began tinkering with the horseless carriage. In the early years of the 20th century, hundreds of auto manufacturers vied for attention in Detroit. By 1920, the industry had consolidated to something like its current form, with a handful of large manufacturers at the top and numerous small and medium-sized suppliers and machines shops further down.

It is impossible to separate Detroit’s history from that of the automotive industry. The industry has shaped Detroit’s story in every way. The development of the automobile industry led to a massive increase in industrial production in the city. This in turn led to rising demands for labor, which were filled by huge numbers of newcomers from Europe and the Deep South.

From working class neighborhoods like Hamtramck to “old money” suburbs like the Grosse Pointes, the city’s neighborhoods came to reflect the pecking order of the industry. Between 1900 and 1930, the city’s population soared from 265,000 to over 1.5 million. The landscape of the city also changed dramatically. Once known as the “Paris of the Midwest” for its tree-shaded avenues, the city took on a more blue-collar appearance as its riverfront became lined with factories and grain silos.

By the mid-’20s, Detroit was beginning to swell with automotive energy. Its population boomed and the city began to spread out, growing up and around the two small communities of Hamtramck and Highland Park, which today remain independent yet entirely within Detroit’s borders. In the ‘20s, the prosperous General Motors Corp. fled the crowded downtown to build a “new center” in farmland a couple miles to the north.

With its population rapidly growing, Detroit began to annex surrounding territory rapidly between 1900 and 1925. Great chunks of the city’s current area were added in the ‘20s as the city grew out to 8 Mile Road. There it stopped. The border with Oakland County at 8 Mile presented an unbridgeable legal and social barrier to further expansion. This inability to annex property beyond 8 Mile Road would later prove to be a tragedy for the city. Detroit remains a city of 139 square miles, compared to Sunbelt cities like Houston that used annexation powers to grow to more than 500 square miles. The result is that Detroit was never able to capture the suburban growth and prosperity of later years. This would condemn the city from the 1950s on to watching hopelessly as the middle-class fled the city for the bedroom communities to the north.

Like Detroit, but on a smaller scale, Amesbury had a thriving carriage trade. In the early days of the automobile, manufacturers would add combustion engines to the typical horse drawn carriages. Amesbury shipped these carriages to Detroit and over the years built strictly auto bodies. Just as many others looking for a better life, Felix would have seen greater opportunity in the growing midwest city, over his current location.

City Directory, Amesbury, Mass, 1910-1911
Boisvert, Felix removed to Detroit, Mich

City Directory, Detroit, Michigan 1911
Boisvert, Felix, Lamp Maker, H 698 1/2 3rd Ave. 

Felix moved his family to Detroit in late 1910. Along with the financial draw of Detroit being an influence on Felix to move his family, the ongoing friction between Felix and Liliians family may have paved the way for their move.

On January 22, 1912 Lillian gave birth to a son named Marcus Bernard Boisvert in Wayne County. Marcus Bernard (Barney) was christened at St. Peter & St. Paul cathedral in Detroit. Felix, Lillian and family lived on Russell street in Detroit at this time.

City Directory, Detroit, Michigan 1912
Boisvert, Felix, 739 Third Avenue

Even though Felix moved almost 800 miles way, he wasn’t able to escape Lillians sisters. They often visited Felix and Lillian in Detroit. In one instance, Lena and Rose stayed for a length of time. As Felix would say, eating them out of house and home. Feeling unable to support his family plus two of Lillians sisters, he requested they contribute if they wished to stay longer. Indignant, the sister moved out and into a boarding house where they still had to paid for their room.

Later, Lillians older sister, Eugenia and husband Ted Bernard moved permanently to the Detroit area. While Felix struggled with some of Lillians family, with Ted Bunard  he found a friend. Felix worked with him at Detroit Centerless Grinder where they set up and developed the grinder in tool & die shops around the country.

After Detroit Centerless Grinder. They both started working at Ford Motor Company. (Felix was working as a body worker at Ford in 1920). They thought they had finally made it. By the late ’20s, Ford was paying workers $1.00 an hour, which was unthinkable wages for that time.

Lillian’s sickness

Felix and family moved around because of Lillian’s on going battle with Tuberculosis. With his brother, Joseph, dying of TB back in 1901, Felix was well aware of the effects. Because Tuberculosis effected those living in cities where air and water were tainted, ventilation poor, buildings neglected by landlords and living conditions generally unsanitary, he  moved his family out to Grosse Pointe Farms. He continued to work in the city. Once Lillian recovered, they would move back to Detroit.

Lillian’s health would recover and then relapse. For one winter and part of a summer, Felix sent Lillian and the three children to the Ozarks in Missouri. The clean, dry air of the Ozarks was supposed to cure Lillian. When it did not help, Felix travelled to Missouri and brought his family back to Michigan. Back home, they settled on Cameron Street.

Lillians sisters once again came to Michigan. This time to take care of Lillian and the children while Felix worked. Growing worse, Lillian was placed in Eloise Hospital in Wayne County (near Inkster). Eloise Hospital was hundreds of acres out in the country. Included on its property was a general hospital, a housing unit for the poor of Wayne County, and a facility for mentally disturbed patients. It was commonly referred to as the “Crazy Hospital”.  Eloise was considered a poor hospital. Ran by the county, it gave medical assistance to those who had little money. In 1914, a Tuberculosis Sanitorium was built. It was here, Felix and the children visited Lillian.

On October 26, 1917 Lillian, unable to recover, died at Eloise Hospital. She was 36 years old. She is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery, located at 17110 Van Dyke, in Detroit. Location: Section 55, Tier 2, Space 283

City Directory, Detroit, Michigan 1917
Boisvert, Felix, Machinist, 66 Cameron Ave.

What Now?

Lillians prolonged illness and death shook up and broke up the family. Having to travel for Detroit Centerless Grinder, Felix placed Millicent, 9 and Jeanette, 6 in a girls boarding school in Adrian which was ran by Dominican nuns. As Felix struggled to pay medical bills, funeral costs and boarding school for his two girls, he needed to find a place for Barney, 4, who was too young for school and to comprehend the circumstances.

Felix, now 41 years old, moved his family out of the house they were in. He sold off items and gave Lillians valuables to her sisters for safe keeping. While the girls were already staying at school, he placed Barney in an orphanage. The orphanage had such an adverse effect on Barney, that Felix took him out after two weeks. He then moved Barney in with Alphonse (Jules) and Matilda Pellerin, who lived at 298 Clay St, Detroit. Felix then took a room as a boarder at a house on Horton Ave., owned by Philip and Alexis Cote. The two properties were about one mile apart, which kept Felix close to his son.

Millicent and Jeanette

The separate living arrangements for Felix’s family would continue until 1922. Millicent graduated from high school at Adrian and went to live with Felix at the boarding house. She got a job in Detroit with the welfare department. She took her job seriously and was very disheartened over the poverty and hopelessness she saw everyday.

Millicent was afflicted with the same disease as her mother, aunts Lena and Rose. She went to the Northville sanitorium, called Wayne County Child Development Center. The center was a childrens mental hospital but also housed Tuberculosis patients. Millicent, out in the country and given medical attention, hoped to recover from the tuberculoses. Two days before her 20th birthday, Millicent succumbed to the disease. The date was July 30, 1925.  She is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery, located at 17110 Van Dyke, in Detroit. Location: Section 55, Tier 2, Space 282

In 1926 at age 16, Jeanette was struggling with the decision to become a nun. She wrote a letter to her father, hoping for his blessing.

Dearest Daddy,–

Seems funny to get a letter from your daughter when she is at home doesn’t it? Daddy, I want to go to Nazareth with the Sisters next Saturday, June 23rd to be a Sister. All that I will need is what I have and a few other things. Sister Bernard Marie asked me to let her mother make me a dress. It was hard to accept, but I did and I am letting her take my black dress for the size. Please Daddy, I don’t want Pauline to know so please don’t say anything when she is around. This is quite sudden I know, but I have been thinking a lot about it and so I have decided to go and try it. Well, good nite Daddy dear and pray for me. I have to go! It’s late now and Mother will scold.    

 Your sad but happy daughter, Jeannette

Jeanette entered the order of Sisters of St. Joseph at Nazareth, Michigan. There, she graduated from high school, and received her higher education. She took the name Sister Judith.

Lemina Biron

Felix remarried in 1927, at the age 50. His new wife was Lemina Biron. He knew her husband, and often saw Lemina, when she was helping out around the Pellerin household where Barney was living.

By this time, Felix had a job at Ford Motor Company with friend Ted Bunard and was making a good wage. With a solid job, and new wife, Felix moved out of Detroit. He rented a house out in the farmlands of Ferndale. The house was located on Livernois Road. He brought Barney, now 15, back to live with him.

The Great Depression

Just as life was becoming easier for Felix, an economic disaster was about to strike. The October 1929 stock market crash and following Great Depression dramatically effected not only Felix and his family, but every family in America .

The economic slump called “The Great Depression” began in North America, and spread to other industrialized areas of the world. Lasting from 1929 to 1939, it was the longest and most severe depression ever experienced by the industrialized Western world.

Though the U.S. economy had gone into depression six months earlier, the Great Depression may be said to have begun with a catastrophic collapse of stock-market prices on the New York Stock Exchange in October 1929. By late 1932, stock prices had dropped to about 20 percent of their value in 1929. Besides ruining many thousands of individual investors, this decline in the value of assets greatly strained banks and other financial institutions, particularly those holding stocks in their portfolios.

By 1933, 11,000 of the United States 25,000 banks had failed. The failure of so many banks, combined with the nationwide loss of confidence in the economy, led to reduced levels of spending demand and production of product. The result was drastically rising unemployment; by 1932, U.S. manufacturing output had fallen to 54 percent of its 1929 level, and unemployment had risen to between 12 and 15 million workers, or 25-30 percent of the work force.

The Great Depression was a time of unprecedented despair. People were uprooted when out-of-work families packed up everything they owned and moved to California. Without means of transportation, people had to walk miles just to see their families. Living in squatter’s camps (called “Hoovervilles” after President Herbert Hoover), dislocated families tried to stay together.

In other parts of the country, men left their families at home while they went to the industrial north to find work. Their bachelor cabins were nothing more than shanty towns.  The land of plenty had become the land of hard times.

“A Bunch of String Savers”

After Black Tuesday, money was scarce, we became a bunch of string savers. You never threw anything out.” – Barney Boisvert

In the early 1930’s, Felix was working for Ford Motor Company as a repair man. A few years earlier, he was making $1.00 an hour. By 1932, Ford had cut their wages across the board, down to $4.00 a day. Felix was no doubt affected by the cuts in pay, but seeing little opportunity elsewhere, continued to work there until he was laid off with the countless others.

There were lots of highly skilled tradesmen walking the streets looking for something to do. Felix spent some time as the janitor at Barney’s school it was there Felix would teach the kids the rudiments of tumbling, standing on each others shoulders and such.

He also got jobs for a short time on the WPA. The Work Project Administration was formed in 1935 through an executive order from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The project was designed to create jobs during the Great Depression. There was two divisions of the WPA. The building program (which constructed public buildings, bridges and improved roadways) and the art program which included the Federal Art Project, the Federal Writers’ Project, and the Federal Theatre Project.

How many men does it take the WPA to cut grass? 

2 coming, 2 going, 2 sitting, and 2 mowing–Barney Boisvert

Both Felix and Barney continued to search for odd jobs. They would wash cars, run errands, hand out political flyers, anything that would make money. With money scarce, they would cut down the trees in their yard for use during the winter.

By 1933, Felix started working at Standard Tube Co. which made the tubing for the automotive plants. He worked there as an inspector. During World War II, Standard Tube Co. retooled. They created tank tread tubing welded steel tubing for the war effort. They laid him off because he had trouble seeing, but they called him back for a different job. He worked at Standard Tube Co. until 1947 when he moved north with Barney and his family.

Around 1938, Lemina passed away. Afterward, Felix welcomed Barney, wife Theresa Edith Forton (Edie), and their children into his Ferndale house. Felix created the attic as living space, giving Barney and family the rest of the house. The attic was hot and stuffy in the summer and cold in the winter. The stairway access was located in the bathroom. Though an uncomfortable situation for Felix, Barney and Edie never heard complaints.

City Directory, Royal Oak, Michigan 1933
Boisvert, Felix (Lumina) Machine Operator, 960 Woodruff Ave.

City Directory, Royal Oak, Michigan 1936
Boisvert, Felix (Lumina) sweeper. Standard Tube (Highland Park) r 1042 Woodruff Av.

City Directory, Royal Oak, Michigan 1938
Boisvert, Felix  r 1042 Woodruff Av.

City Directory, Royal Oak, Michigan 1940
Boisvert, Felix (Edith) clerk, Standard Tube Co (Hland Park)  r 1042 Woodruff Av.

Walled Lake

World War II began in 1939, with the United States joining in 1941 after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. During the war, the government found it necessary to ration food, gas, and even clothing during that time. Americans were asked to conserve on everything. Also, all of the auto companies converted their factories in short order to production of planes and tanks. The war effort was centered around Willow Run Airport, and the Edsel Ford Expressway was built between downtown Detroit and the airport to facilitate that work.

In 1942, Barney and Edie moved their growing family to a farm in Walled Lake. Felix, now 67 years old, moved with them. Along with his job at Standard Tube Co., Felix worked around the farm, and planted a garden.

Boyne and Traverse City

Felix retired from Standard Tube Co. in 1947 when Barney and Edie moved up north to Boyne City. He lived in a little cabin on the property owned by Edie’s parents, Clarence & Theresa Forton. As long as they were on the Forton farm in Boyne City, he hung out there, tried gardening, tried plowing with the horse, and took many walks. The cabin he was living in taught on fire, forcing him to find a new place to live. He then rented a place down the road which took in boarders.

When Barney & Edie moved to Traverse City a few years later, Felix went with them. He rented a place there for a while. Felix, now around 75 years old, was on his own.

The Burial of Felix Boisvert

In 1953, he decided to commit himself in the Traverse City Hospital as an elderly person. Barney accompanied him at his hearing in which was admitted. There, Felix’s health started to fail him. In the year 1955, Felix passed away at the age of 80 years old.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″ css=”.vc_custom_1547865756388{background-color: #efefef !important;}”][vc_gallery interval=”3″ images=”3316,3317,3318,3319,3320,3321,3322,3323,3324,3325,3326,3327,3328,3309″][vc_gallery interval=”3″ images=”3341,3330,3331,3332,3333,3334,3335,3336,3337″][vc_column_text]

The Children of Felix and Lillian

Millicent Lillian Boisvert
Buried in Jul 1925 in Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Millicent Lillian died in Northville, Wayne, Michigan, USA, on 30 Jul 1925; she was 19. Born on 1 Aug 1905 in Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts, USA.

Lillian Boisvert
Born on 3 Sep 1908 in Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States. Lillian died in Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States, on 4 Sep 1908; she was <1.

Jeanette Boisvert (Sister Judith)
Born on 10 May 1910 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, USA. Jeanette died in Nazareth MI, abt 1998; she was 87.

Marcus Bernard Boisvert
Marcus Bernard died in Grand Blanc, Genesee, Michigan, USA, on 31 Jan 2008; he was 96. Born on 22 Jan 1912 in St. Peter & St. Paul Cathedral, Detroit, Michigan, USA.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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