Eugene (Gene) Boshey Sr.


Eugene (Gene) Boshey Sr., “BayBayináse” “Názatagaboo”, age 80, passed away at his home on Lake Vermilion-Tower, on Monday, August 13, 2012, surrounded by his family and friends. He was a former Tribal Chairman for the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Indians.


He was born on July 19, 1932, to James and Jenny (Pete) Boshey on Burntside Lake in Ely, where he grew up. His family later moved to Lake Vermilion, where he attended the Tower School. A U.S. Army veteran, Gene rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant during the Korean War. He was a member of the American Legion Post #245 of Tower and a founding member of the Bois Forte Honor Guard.


He married Katheryn Day in November of 1956 and moved to Nett Lake, where they raised their 3 children. He held many positions throughout his life, including working at the Oliver Mining Company, Britt Sawmill, Bureau of Indian Affairs as a Forester stationed at the Bois Forte Reservation and as the Maintenance Supervisor at the Vermilion Social Center.


Gene was first elected to the Bois Forte Tribal Council as District Representative in 1982, he represented District 1 – Nett Lake, until 1988, when Band members elected him Tribal Chairman, a position he held until 1992. During his tenure as Tribal Chairman, Boshey signed two gaming compacts with the State of Minnesota; one in 1989 for slot machines, and the second in 1991 for blackjack. The compacts have since become models for other tribes, and the Bois Forte Band’s Fortune Bay Resort Casino has become a major tourist attraction in northeastern Minnesota and one the region’s largest employers along with being the home to the acclaimed Wilderness Golf Course.


He was a kind-hearted man who had many friends. He was widely known for his sense of humor and gentle demeanor. Close friends said they never heard him raise his voice, even during heated discussions. Gene was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying trapping and deer hunting, but his favorite was duck hunting on Nett Lake, where he provided guiding services.


In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his first wife, Katheryn Day; second wife, Noreen LaRoque; brothers, Charles Guyette, Elmer Boshey Sr, Ernest Boshey Sr. and two infant brothers; a sister, Jeanette Deegan; and a stepson, Alden Connor.


Gene is survived by 2 daughters; Jeneal (“Turk”) Goggleye of Nett Lake, Barb (Darrel) Brodeen of Lake Vermilion-Tower; 1 son, Eugene (Terrie) Boshey Jr. of Lake Vermilion-Tower; 1 stepson, Loren (Diane) Connor of Nett Lake, MN; 1 brother, Robert (Phyllis) Boshey of Lake Vermilion-Tower; 17 Grandchildren and 25 Great Grandchildren.


SERVICES: Traditional funeral services will be held at 10:00 am Saturday, (Aug. 18th) at the Vermilion Family Wellness Center, where visitation will begin after 5 pm Friday. The Spiritual Advisors will be Gilbert Smith and Gene Goodsky, with assistance from Michael Dunkley. Pallbearers will be Boshey’s grandsons, Jerry Goggleye Jr., Robbie Goggleye, Craig Goodsky, Eugene Boshey III., Mark Boshey and Philip Brodeen. Honorary pallbearers will include Boshey’s good friends: Stanton “Buddy” Johnson, Kevin Leecy, David Morrison Sr., Ed Searles, Mike Dunkley, George Mihelich and Bob Reichensperger.

The family would like to thank the staff of the Bois Forte Medical Center and Essentia Hospice for all their wonderful care that they have provided to Gene and also to Mlaker Funeral Home for their support and wonderful service.