Lifestyle

For Bos, 48 years is long enough

Linda Bos, licensing manager at Oak Harbor Motors, is retiring after working for the local auto dealer for 48 years. - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
Linda Bos, licensing manager at Oak Harbor Motors, is retiring after working for the local auto dealer for 48 years.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

A long-familiar face at the licensing office in Oak Harbor will soon be missing.

Linda Bos, who is the licensing manager at Oak Harbor Motors on Pioneer Way, is retiring after working for the auto dealer for nearly a half a century.

“I’ve been here for 48 years and I think that’s long enough for one job,” Bos said last Thursday afternoon while she was battling a bit of a cold.

She started working for Oak Harbor Motors shortly after she graduated from high school in 1961. Her aunt, who was the office manager at the time, needed some extra help. She was also testing for a job on the base, but Bos had to promise her aunt that she would stay with Oak Harbor Motors. Incidentally, she said her test results were destroyed in a fire so she never learned how she did.

Back then, the business was known as Oak Harbor Garage and operated out of the present-day Old Town Mall located in downtown Oak Harbor.

“I did it all,” the 67-year-old Boss said. She would help with bookkeeping and licensing, and even helped the sales people with customers.

Kathy Horrobin, who for the last 30 years has owned Oak Harbor Motors with her husband, Mike, said that Bos is popular because she always makes those around her happy.

“She came with the place,” Horrobin said.

The long-time business has undergone many changes over the years. It expanded from a garage to include a dealership and licensing. Eventually, the business moved to its current location on the corner of Pioneer Way and Highway 20.

Ownership changed several times during Bos’ tenure. She said Marv Port and Harvey Wiggins owned the business when she started working there. It was owned by Jerry Bawyn before the current owners took over.

When she started her career the licensing office ran differently. In 1961, all car tabs expired in December, leaving her with a busy holiday season.

“We’d be here until 12 o’clock at night. Everything was done by hand and no computer to speed things up,” Bos said.

She enjoyed working in the licensing department and developing a rapport with coworkers and customers alike. In fact, it’s the people she’s known over the years that she will miss the most.

Employees gave Bos a nice send off by holding a reception last Friday afternoon in her honor.

In the meantime, she is planning to enjoy her retirement. She and her husband Maynard are planning a trip to Mexico. She will also have time for her hobbies, such as quilting and gardening.

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