|Date of Birth||November 20, 1899|
|Place of Birth||Keewatin, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Sarah Billedeau, mother, Keewatin, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Miller, Lake of the Woods Milling Company, Keewatin, Ontario|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Address at Enlistment||Keewatin, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||August 2, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||16|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||December 16, 1979|
|Age at Death||80|
|Buried At||Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, British Columbia|
Born in Keewatin, Ontario on the 20 November 1899, Jerome William was the son of Hormidas Bilodeau/Billedeau (b Beauharnois St Clement, Quebec) and Sarah Pelletier/Pelchie (b Aroostook Junction, Victoria, New Brunswick) who married on 5 November 1893 in Keewatin. Roman Catholic in origin, the Billedeau family was large. Jerome’s siblings were Addie May, Marie Josephine Dilima Adelina, Joseph Hormidas (also served), Hector George Albert (also served), Joseph Archibald, Garfield, Elizabeth, Ernest Joseph, Florence Jane Mae, and Evelyn Elvina. The family was found in the 1901 census living in Keewatin, occupation of his father listed as general labourer. For the 1911 census the family was on 8th Street in Keewatin, occupation of father given as mail carrier and souper, employed at the flour mill.
At age 16 Jerome signed his attestation papers with the 141st Battalion in Kenora on 2 August 1916. Occupation given as miller, he gave his birth year as 1898. Based in Fort Frances the unit had begun recruiting in late 1915 in the Rainy River district. Once in Port Arthur for training with the battalion before going overseas, Jerome was found medically unfit and was discharged on 30 March 1917.
After the war Jerome married Gladys Irene McGeachy, daughter of Neil and Bertha (Ryan) McGeachy of Winnipeg. The marriage took place in Winnipeg on 5 November 1922. The couple went on to have three children: Robert Jerome who died serving during World War 2, Myrtle Agnes, and Donald Gerald. Jerome’s wife Gladys died in 1966 and Jerome later remarried Ethel Douglas. Jerome died on 16 December 1979 in Vancouver, British Columbia. He had been a pipe fitter for the Canadian National Railway in Vancouver, employed by the company for 43 years. He is interred in the Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver.
Jerome Billedeau is commemorated on the Lake of the Woods Milling Company Roll of Honour plaque and the Municipality of Keewatin plaque, both housed in the Keewatin Legion.
by Judy Stockham
grave marker photo and obituary: Christi Pelkey
Research notes: There are numerous spellings of Jerome’s and his family’s surname found in attestation papers, birth, baptism, marriage, death and census documents, obituaries, and gravemarkers: Billedeau, Billadeau, Belladeau, Billideau, Bellodeau, Billedan, Bilodeau, Billedau. His father and brother were baptized as Hormidas Bilodeau. A family tree on ancestry, researched and completed by a direct relative, uses the spelling as ‘Bilodeau/Billedeau’ as they are the two most commonly used.