Memorable Manitobans: Theodore Bockstael (1874-1958)
Born in Belgium in 1874, he came to Canada in 1906 and, three years later, founded the Bockstael Construction Company which he operated until retirement in 1954. His wife Donatilda Geenens (1878-1914) and their four children joined him in Canada in 1912 and a fifth child was born soon after their arrival in Manitoba: Martha Bockstael (1900-1983, wife of Albert L. Grauls), Albert Bockstael (1901-1980), Gustave Bockstael (1904-1968), Omer Bockstael (c1908-?), and Irene Marie Bockstael (1912-1991, wife of Joseph Verhaeghe). On 11 January 1916, he married Rachel De Cock (1889-1916). His third wife was Marie Van Belleghem (c1903-1948), sister of Joseph Van Belleghem, who he married in St. Boniface on 4 July 1922. They had four children: Robert Theodore Bockstael, Joseph Bockstael (1924-2011), George Bockstael (1926-1980), and Jeanne Bockstael (wife of Edward De Cruyenaere). He served as President of the Belgian Club (1938-1946). He died in the St. Boniface Hospital on 1 December 1958 and was buried in the Belgian Sacred Heart Cemetery.
Some of the Manitoba buildings that his firm constructed:
1916 and 1921 Canada censuses, Ancestry.
Birth, marriage and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Award contract,” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 June 1935, page 3.
“Theodor Bockstael heads Belgian Club,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 May 1938, page 14.
“Mrs. T. Bockstael, St. Boniface, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 11 June 1948, page 12.
“Theodore Bockstael dies in hospital,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 December 1958, page 8.
Obituary [Gustave Bockstael], Winnipeg Free Press, 15 May 1968, page 71.
Obituary [Albert Bockstael], Winnipeg Free Press, 19 February 1980, page 59.
Obituary [George Bockstael], Winnipeg Free Press, 3 October 1980, page 57.
Obituary [Martha Grauls], Winnipeg Free Press, 24 September 1983, page 67.
Obituary [Irene Marie Verhaeghe], Winnipeg Free Press, 27 November 1991, page 43.
Obituary [Joseph Bockstael], Winnipeg Free Press, 10 December 2011.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Neil Pryce and Jordan Makichuk for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 26 September 2023