Nature 09

Bounlouane Ounchith

January 1, 1947 ~ October 8, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old

Bounlouane Ounchith Obituary

A Traditional Lao Service for Bounlouane Ounchith of Warroad will take place on Friday, October 13, 2023 at Noon at Helgeson Funeral Home in Roseau.


Bounlouane Ounchith, born on January 1st 1947 as the youngest of his family in Ban Kong, Laos. He grew up in a family with a military tradition that led him to become an Army officer. After the Civil War in Laos concluded he made the perilous journey to a refugee camp in Thailand, leaving everything he once had held dear behind.

Little did Bounlouane know that his life in a Thai Refugee camp would lead to meeting Bounlong who would become his wife. Of course this courtship had its setbacks like pretending to read a letter written in Chinese Mandarin. Not smart if someone you are trying to impress actually speaks the language. 

Eventually in that time Bounlouane and Bounlong Ounchith were able to find sponsors from a Church in Houston Texas. From the war weary status of “Refugees” to the dream of immigrating to The United States of America. Based on networking with other former Lao Refugees, They decided to move from Texas to Louisiana. A state very similar to the tropical climate of Laos and job opportunities. 

Bounlouane had a hand in many trades from steel wielder, shrimp fishermen, and oil rig worker, but his most challenging was becoming a father of not 1 but 2 boys in 1981 and 1983. David and Vichita would swarm him with love and childhood silliness.

With a growing family and economic recession of the early 80s a decision was made to move to Stockton, California. Where an old childhood friend said California has opportunities for work and a strong social safety net that can help raise a family. 

In this Era, the World Wrestling Federation captured the imagination with the pay per view buy of Wrestlemania 3. In a jam packed one bedroom apartment neighbors, fiends kids cheered on their favorite Wrestlers like, Ricky the Dragon Steamboat, Andre the Giant, Jimmy fly Snuka, "Bad Bad" Leroy Brown, and of course Hulk Hogan. He would find joy seeing the kids get excited for The Road Warriors, Demolition Crew, and raise their hands up to the ring entrance of The Ultimate Warrior.

As time in Stockton California progressed, social organizations were a huge part of life as a family. Traveling from Stockton to Sacramento, San Francisco, Lodi, Fresno and San Diego for various Buddhist religious ceremonies, Lao traditions and festivals put on by the community. Of course the biggest event by far was the birth of Niya Ounchith in 1986.

As the 80s came to a close, the 90s provided stark challenges with inner city life becoming unsafe raising children and another big decision was made. The move from Stockton, a city of 225,091 to Warroad, a city of 1,800 in 1993. This led to almost 10 years of hard work and dedication at Marvin Windows and Doors until a hemorrhagic stroke in August of 2005. 

His family rallied successfully behind him enough to recover his ability to speak, walk with assistance and even do a little dance. To commemorate this milestone as a family, it was decided to return to his roots visiting Ban Kong, Laos and Savannakhet Laos in 2007 where his wife’s father and mother-in-law greeted him with appreciation and love.

Since then Bounlouane Ounchith has been loved and cared for through multiple acute health crises, finally ending where it started over 18 years ago on October 8th 2023 at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks North Dakota with immediate family present including his grandchildren AviAnna and TreAllan Ounchith. He may have not been able to verbalize his love for his grandkids but there was always a little more energy for him when they were next to his bedside. They loved their papa and he loved them. 

Survived by:  his wife Bounlong Ounchith of Warroad, MN, his children David Ounchith of Warroad, MN, Vichita (Ashley) Ounchith of Warroad, MN, and Niya Ounchith Burbank, Ca, his grandchildren TreAllan and AviAnna Ounchith Warroad, MN.  Also, survived by aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and friends.  

Preceded in death by his father, mother, brother, sister, father-in-law, and brother-in-laws.

Thank you to everyone that has been a part of my dad’s life he truly loved everyone he met along the way. Thank you all that came over to help organize during this hectic time. We truly appreciate it. 


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