Official Obituary of

Alan Louis Bossuot

June 27, 1930 ~ March 1, 2024 (age 93) 93 Years Old

Alan Bossuot Obituary

Alan Louis Bossuot, a 4th generation member of the Whiting family, was born June 27, 1930, the first born to Vern and Lottie Whiting Bossuot, about two miles east of Burns, in the home of George and Ida Whiting, his grandparents. Alan was later joined by his sisters, Judy and Shirley.

Alan’s mother had complications giving birth to him, which later caused the three children to be split-up with family during her medical recoveries.

His family has been in the ranching business since 1875. Alan helped on the family ranch as a child, learning all that has to be done in order to raise cattle and hay.

At the time when Alan was born, his folks lived five miles north of Frenchglen, where his dad was running horses in Catlow Valley near Clover Swale.

When he turned 5-years-old, his family moved five miles north of Burns where Dr. Fitzpatrick lives today. Alan attended the Blue Bird School for six years. It was located on the east side of the Five Mile Dam. He was held back the first year for goofing off too much. He could not get too interested in school as there were too many interesting things to do outside. One winter day, the kids got out early, Alan, along with a friend, poured water on the teachers tire, freezing it to the ground.

His great-grandmother had homesteaded property in 1875, with a cabin about 18 miles northwest of town on Skull Creek. In the summer, the family would move along with their cows, chickens, pigs and milk cows up there while gathering wood for the winter. One summer, when Alan was 6-years-old, his dad sent him back into town on horseback, alone, to check on his mother. 

His family moved back to Burns when he was in the sixth grade. It was the same year that his dad lost the biggest share of his cattle. It was also the same year that his mother got sick and had an operation, causing her kids to be shifted around. Alan spent the summer above Mitch Bakers’ ranch in a cabin at Curry Garden, with his grandfather Dan Bossuot. He was not sure where his sisters were.

When he was 12, his dad got a job as superintendent of haying for the Oregon State Experiment Station and they spent the nights sleeping in a tent. There was no haying equipment. Vern, with the help of Roe Davis, who had a wrecking yard where the high school is today, had a shop where they built one of the first hay bucks in the county. Then they rustled up and bought a new John Deere H tractor to mow with. Vern already had a 12’ rake. Alan raked the land south of the railroad track. They used beaver slides and buck rakes.

Vern always had horses around. That same summer, they moved approximately 12 head of horses from Burns to Squaw Butte in one day. It was before there were any fences. 

Alan then worked for Harley Hotchkiss for five years haying. Part of that time, he pulled the net back while stacking hay when not raking with a horse drawn rake. At the age of 16, Alan was a mechanic on the ranch and while repairing a piece of equipment, a piece of steel was embedded into his left eye, which left him blind in that eye.

Harley and his wife, Nona, had no children and during the war, they would hire kids to help hay. They would only hire one man and the rest of the kids did they haying for nine hours a day, six days a week. Harley kept his own books and told Alan that they made one hundred tons a day. Alan felt that his work ethics came from Harley.

Alan graduated in 1949, then went on to Oregon Tech for two years learning carpentry, then came back and went to work for Leroy Jackson for one year pouring concrete, but always found time to help his parents on the ranch.

He then worked up at Van at the Frost Mill, which was owned by Gearald, Ethel’s dad and his brother, Kenny. That is where he met Ethel and learned how to play croquet around the barnyard with rocks and everything else. He drove a KB8 International that they had and put stakes on. He hauled down Gun Barrel, which was about 20 miles from the mill.

After Alan and Ethel were married, He went to work for Clarence Gardner, who was a gypo logger. Alan drove truck and David was born about that time. A few years later, Dauna was born.

Alan started work for Andy Smerski in 1959 driving truck and later became “Woods Boss”. Alan loved working in the woods.

In 1972, seeing how the lumber industry was changing, Alan and Ethel purchased Sam’s Repair. The shop was built in 1959 by Sam Gunderson for welding and fabrication. Both ranchers and loggers depended on that shop. Repairing equipment was nothing new for Alan. 

He was named Boss of the Year in 1988. The shop crew noted in their application that he promotes a productive and harmonious environment in the work place and demanded conscientious and quality work. He enjoyed the many challenges at the shop and vising with ranchers. He was a mentor to many students throughout the years.

After 43 years, Alan sold the shop to family and retired to his place north of Burns to run cattle and enjoy the cabin on Skull Creek. Family was always close by to help.

Alan paid a visit to Gene Scrivner about 1998, where they came up with the idea to get together on some trail rides. On some of the trail rides, everyone camped out overnight, whether that was at Skull Creek, Joaquin Miller or Logan Valley. He planned one ride down Myrtle especially for his family. All of the grandkids were on that ride. Family was very important to him. 

Family was always there to help out just like Alan did for his family. He loved to reminisce of the old days, the hard times, the good times and his heart was always in the woods.

He is survived by his wife, Ethel; children, Dave Bossuot and Mardy Stewart, Dauna Wensenk and Tim Riley; grandchildren, Darbie and Adam Kemper, Cole Wensenk, Bret and Lydia Bossuot, Sean and Charity Wensenk; nine great-grandchildren; and sisters-in-law, Jackie Caizza and Sam and Janette Jarvis.

Alan was preceded in death by his parents, Vern and Lottie Bossuot; sisters, Judy Raymond and Shirley Mingus; nieces, Garan Riley and Judy Morgan.

Service will be held at the Burns Elks Lodge on Saturday, March 9, at 1 p.m. There will be an internment at the cemetery with family and a meal to follow at the Elks.

Contribution in Alans’ name can be made to BHS sports

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Funeral Service
March 9, 2024

1:00 PM
Burns Elks Lodge #1680
118 N. Broadway
Burns, Oregon 97720


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