Garland Gale “Bugsy” Burroughs

Garland Gale “Bugsy” J. Burroughs Jr., age 83, of Waukon died Friday, July 2, 2021 at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, WI. Funeral services were held Saturday, July 10 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Waukon with Fr. John Moser officiating. Burial with military honors was at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Waukon. Martin-Grau Funeral Home in Waukon assisted the family with arrangements.

Legendary, this is the singular word that comes to everyone’s mind when asked to describe the one and only Bugsy Burroughs. He spent his 83 years on this Earth dancing through not only his life, but each and every one of ours. There are so many stories to be shared to carry on his legacy, but we will keep this brief and everyone can share their own Bugsy stories and laugh with one another over a cup of coffee sometime, as Bugsy would have loved.

Garland Gale John Burroughs, Jr. was born March 15, 1938 in a log cabin near Dorchester to Garland James Burroughs and Elizabeth Mary Becker. He was the oldest, with two brothers and one sister. He lived on the family farm in Lansing while attending school until he graduated in 1956. After graduation, he decided his next journey would be with the U.S. Navy, where he served from 1956 to 1959 on the USS Tanner AGS-15. He worked for Cooney’s and the Ford Garage.

Bugsy loved each and every member of his family and was so proud of each one he gained along the way. He worked his signature Bugsy charm to sweet talk his first wife, Lorna Rumsey, whom he married in 1963. Through this union, he was blessed to have four children: David (Sue) Burroughs, Deborah (Steve) Wolfe, Daniel Burroughs, and damn it...Darren (Angie) Burroughs. These four children blessed him with 11 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and still counting. Bugsy and Lorna later separated in 1990.

In 1998, Bugsy then married his second wife, Lanette Fowler, and through this union, Bugsy gained two stepdaughters, Carrie (Casey) Larson and Crystal (Scott) Hughes. They blessed him with seven more grandkids and four great-grandkids for this family circle. Bugsy and Lanette later separated in 2002.

Bugsy then worked his boyish charm one last time when Helen Ellenbolt fell smitten for his great dance moves and joy for life. Through this union, Bugsy added another family circle, as Helen shared her children and grandchildren. Helen remained by his side as his partner, loving and supporting him through all that life brought his way. She was also amazing at keeping him in line to be sure he got his work done while still taking time to stop and enjoy life with their family and friends.

He loved to have his social life and work all in one so when he started Bugsy’s Budget Cars and Fort Burroughs Radiator Repair, he knew he had something worthwhile. Anyone who did business with him experienced the 60% wheeling and dealing and the 40% coffee and visiting that came along with it. Only with Bugsy would you show up to buy a car and get so busy talking that you forgot you were there for business. This was, by far, his favorite part.

He truly enjoyed life and all those he got to meet along the way. So if you are someone that got that knock on the door, the “just checking in” phone call, and for some, even the big grin standing in your bedroom door waiting for you to wake up just so he could tell you he was checking in, you know the fun, kind-hearted, social butterfly Bugsy truly was.

As Grandpa Bugsy showed all of us: just be you, do your best, make friends along the way, make your friends into family, never stop smiling, and NEVER forget Fort Burroughs Radiator was the best place to take a leak!

Bugsy is survived by his children, David, Deb, Darren and Crystal; his grandchildren, Mike Burroughs, Danielle (Adam) Chase, Mitch Burroughs, Tracy Schulte, Nicki Mathison, Mike Wolfe, Aubrie (Patrick) Monroe, Mercedes (Cody) Grant, BrettAnn (Jordan) Schaller, Preston (Leiah) Burroughs, Dalton Burroughs, Kennedy Larson, Brooklyn Larson, Mikayla Holly-Archuleta, Dakota (Karen) Holly, Blake Holly and Ethan Holly; his great-grandchildren, Brayden, Ryan, Hunter, Molly, Leo, Levi, Elliott, Oliver, Evalyn, Aria, Robert, Abel, and still counting; his siblings, Connie (Jim) Eide and Ray (Marge) Burroughs; his sister-in-law, Patty Burroughs; 1,000,000,000 cousins; and his friends: infinity and beyond as everyone he met became his friend.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Daniel Burroughs; his stepdaughter, Carrieann Larson; his grandson, Ryan Schulte; his granddaughter, Carly Larson; and his brother, Gene Burroughs, just two days before Bugsy.

Honorary casketbearers were Bob Protsman, Richard Protsman, Dick Sullivan and John Troendle. Casketbearers were Jimmy Bollman, Dalton Burroughs, Mitch Burroughs and Preston Burroughs, Aaron Folsom, Troy Hansmeier and Mike Wolfe.

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