Lauro Salinas "Lalo" Bustamante
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October 15, 1921 - January 24, 2013
MCMINNVILLE - Lauro Bustamante passed away on January 24, 2013 at Willamette Valley Medical Center. Memorial services will be held on 2 p.m. Saturday, February 2, 2013 at Wellspring Conference Center at the Woodburn Health Center, 1475 Mt. Hood Avenue, Woodburn.
Lauro was the third oldest of nine children born to Cecilio and Antonia Bustamante in Asherton, TX. Lauro served in the United States Army during World War II and received 5 Bronze Stars during combat including Normandy Beach, Northern France, Ardennes and Central Europe campaigns. Upon leaving the Army he started a trucking business in Texas with his brothers and eventually moved to Oregon seeking new opportunities for him and his family in 1951.
Shortly after arriving he married Merlene Meyers of Newberg and established roots in the Gervais-St.Paul area as a labor contractor for a number of farmers in the Willamette Valley. His leadership qualities, ability to interact with the farmers of that era converted Lauro or "Lalo" as a known and trusted leader of the farm work force overnight. Lalo's effort created a new relationship between migrant workers from Texas and St. Paul, Oregon area farmers. A "Pioneer" on many fronts, Lauro will be remembered for his contribution to the farming and migrant communities. He continued in the farm labor business until his retirement in 1992.
Lauro and his family were honored at the "Pioneros de Oregon" annual reunion in June of 2012.
He was preceded in death by his brothers Francisco, Claudio, Mauro and Cruz Bustamante and sister Cleotilda Gutierrez. Lauro is survived by wife Merlene and siblings Armando Bustamante of Marble Falls, TX, Delia Perches from Wharton, TX and Osvaldo Bustamante from Asherton, TX. Lauro is also survived by children Lauro Jr. of San Antonio, Sylvia Botts of San Antonio and Bruce Bustamante of Anchorage, AK.
Lauro was married to Merlene for 56 years spending the entire time in Oregon and making their home in McMinnville the last 28 years. During his life Lauro's favorite hobbies included hunting, fishing and traveling, especially to Alaska.
Lauro served his country, raised a family and helped hundreds of families along the way Lauro was a wonderful family man and proud grandfather of 11 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.
To leave private online condolences, please visit www.macyandson.com.
Published in StatesmanJournal on Jan. 30, 2013