The Maryknoll Lay Missioners community mourns the passing of Ronald Bosse, one of the earliest and longest-serving Maryknoll lay missioners, who passed on to new life on June 20, 2023 at St. Francis Home in Tiffin, Ohio, at the age of 84. He was an important part of the formation of the Maryknoll lay mission program and a great influence on many missioners who followed for years afterward.
Bosse (as he always preferred to be called) was a missionary for all of his adult life. As a Peace Corps volunteer in the early ‘60s, he worked in Panama, designing and building latrines in poor communities. He then went to Peru where he worked alongside the Maryknoll Brothers as one of the first Maryknoll lay missioners; he had already been serving with Maryknoll for some time when the program was formally organized in 1974.
Bosse met his wife, Carolyn, in Peru while she was working as a Papal Volunteer. They developed a friendship and continued to communicate, even after Carolyn returned to the United States to continue with her nursing. About 10 years later, she was walking down the street of Puno in the altiplano of Peru when they met again and continued their relationship. They were married in 1981 and joined Maryknoll as a couple in 1985.
The two would continue to serve as a Maryknoll lay missioners for another 25 years — in Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile — always living and working with indigenous communities. Even upon retiring in 2014, they settled in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky to continue to be present among the poor in an area with very little Catholic presence. After Carolyn passed on in 2021, Bosse moved into St. Francis Home in Tiffin.
Bosse and Carolyn were pioneer missioners in many ways, yet they never sought the spotlight, always happy just to follow their calling, living among the people in indigenous communities around Latin America. But most inspiring to many was the depth of their love and commitment to each other. Each was a very singular person, and although their personalities were quite different, they shared a common vision and love for the people with whom they shared their lives.
Bosse’s funeral Mass will be celebrated at Saint Francis Home in Tiffin, Ohio (182 St Francis Ave.) on Monday, Aug. 7, at 10:00 AM, followed by a reception. The service will be livestreamed at https://livestream.com/accounts/6539669/bosse; For more information, please click on: Bosse’s Funeral Home obituary.
Burial for the cremation remains of both Bosse and Carolyn with be at Lake Township Cemetery in Millbury, Ohio (near Toledo).
Many thanks are due to Maruja and Ted Gutmann-Gonzalez (Class of 1989 – Chile), who have closely accompanied the Bosses throughout their final years.