McFadzen, Ruben Victor “Butch”

Regimental Number: R105724
Rank: Leading Aircraftsman

Rueben (Butch), born on October 18, 1898 in the Souris, Manitoba area, had a twin sister, Francis. They were the youngest in John and Catherine (nee Cooper) McFadzen family of ten children; Fred, Robert, James, Margaret, John, Maude, Mary Jane, Catherine and the twins, Rueben and Francis. John was originally from Quebec and Catherine Cooper was originally from Ontario. The family settled in the Sifton, Manitoba area. Unfortunately, John passed away in 1904 and Catherine and the children moved into Brandon. Catherine also had two grandsons, Victor and Richard Ernest, who lived with her at one time as well. Rueben received his education in Manitoba and had been enrolled in a machinist program.

Rueben’s brother Fred moved to the Peace District and Butch worked for his brother who was the manager of St. George’s Ranch at Windsor Creek, AB in the 1930’s. He also had been employed with Imperial Oil for several years. In May 1940, Rueben married Harriette Robideau who had one son, William (Billy).

Rueben listed with the RCAF in May 28, 1941 at Edmonton. He served as a Leading Aircraftsman during WWII. Rueben was discharged on June 2, 1944 at Calgary and received the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal.

Once Rueben returned home, he purchased land (SW-18-74-5-W6) that was located four miles north of Sexsmith by means of a VLA loan. The property had a flowing well that had been drilled by the previous owner, Alden Sedore. Rueben farmed his land and worked out as well until he became ill and was hospitalized in Grande Prairie. He passed away on September 7, 1951 and was laid to rest at the Glen Leslie Cemetery. In 1952, Hattie sold the land to the VLA at which time she and Billy moved back to Bezanson to be closer to her family. Alf and Don Olson built a house for Hattie that was located just across the road to the north of the Bezanson Store.

Contributed by Wanda Zenner

Smoky River to Grande Prairie
Interview with Larry Fells
Interview with Louise Kimble
1881 & 1891 Canada Census