Aloysius, the oldest of the six children of Alphonse Dontenville and Mary Magdalene Schurra was born in Saint Maurice, Alsace in 1889, at a time when it was under German control. His mother died when he was ten years old. As a young man, he continued to live at home with his father, working in the family weaving business and farming.
Aloysius was conscripted into the German army in 1914. In March 1918 the German Army struck along a fifty mile front along the Somme River in northern France. Aloysius was killed during that offensive, on August 17, 1918, just three months before the end of the war.