93 years old and he still rides bicycle, while watching Wheel of Fortune

By CARSON DEVEAU

Edward, or Eddie, Deveau rides the mechanical bike in his living room.

He continues to ride it throughout Wheel of Fortune.

As we yell letters, his arms remain crossed and folded calmly on his lap while he rides at a comfortable pace.

Once the show is over, so is the 93-year-old’s nightly bike ride and he moves to his blue, reclining chair in front of the TV.

Deveau was born on Aug. 8, 1922 in Boston, MA. His family moved to P.E.I. in the summer of 1932.

He was the oldest of his siblings and only completed up to Grade 8 in school. Then, he went to help his Uncle Felix on his two farms.

In 1943, Deveau, 21, joined the Canadian Air Force. He worked as maintenance and also worked in Newfoundland on radar sites.

Deveau only spent two years in the Air Force.

At 93, he is still able to drive. He use to drive into Souris daily from his small house in Rollo Bay to meet the crew at Robins where they’d sit around and discuss how to fix the world’s problems.

“I barely drive into Souris today. Only if I need groceries or something like that,” he said.

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Edward Deveau, 93, sits at his kitchen in his home in Rollo Bay, P.E.I. Carson Deveau photo.

In January, 1946, he began working on the railway in Souris. He would look after the yards and fixing the deck. His job took him all across the Island. It also introduced him to a lot of people, one being his wife, Tisa Cheverie.

Cheverie was from a large family in Souris and the two married on Aug. 16, 1948.

But as the railway industry began declining, Deveau left his job and rejoined the Air Force in December, 1950.

Today, Deveau attends to the garden behind his house. It is filled with lettuce, carrots, peas and much more.

“I use to give the neighbours vegetables years ago,” he says as he walks through his rows of carrots, examining their size.

Before rejoining the Air Force, he took a course and became supervisor of the accounting section, where he gave military workers their pay cheques.

During his 19 years in the Air Force, Deveau and his wife had six kids, but frequent transfers meant they were born in various places across the country.

Alan and David were born in North Bay, Ontario. Blair and Eric in Gander, Newfoundland. Paul in Ontario. And Heather in Quebec.

In 1968, Deveau decided to leave the Air Force once again and move back to P.E.I. to raise his family.

His mother owned a small grocery store along the main road into Souris called Deveau Grocery’s.

He planned to take over the store from his 84-year-old mother and work there for five years to help her get out of it.

Deveau spent the next two decades there, along the main road going into Souris, working and living in the store his family built.

In 1984, he sold the store and bought a retirement home in Dunedin, Florida.

He and his wife would spend their summers on P.E.I., then go to Florida in November and return in April.

They did this for nine years.

As we walk around his shed, the floor is covered in sawdust.

There is a pile of wood in a bin that runs along the entire back wall.

Outside the shed is a collection of homemade lawn chairs of various colours.

After deciding not to go back to Florida for the winter, Deveau and his wife moved into a small house in Rollo Bay, P.E.I.

As he was adjusting to winter, Deveau became bored not working.

One day, his son, Paul, came to him with hand-drawn blueprints of a chair he wanted to build.

Deveau took this blueprint and turned it into a business that lasted nearly 20 years.

He built lawn chairs and foot rests and left them at the end of his driveway with a homemade For Sale sign hanging above.

People would stop on the side of the road and buy them. Some people came year after year to buy his lawn chairs.

He sold chairs up until 2014.

Today, Deveau still believes in keeping up an active lifestyle, even at 93.

“I was raised in a family of six. We all had to pitch in. With the Air Force too, I was always doing extra stuff. Picking up extra shifts or working overtime.”

I get up and collect my coat and he walks me to the door. He offers me a peppermint from a glass bowl.

As I pull out of his driveway, I look through the window of his living room. He’s biking and watching the next episode of Wheel of Fortune.

 

 

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