Mariam Boustany Buttross, 96, died peacefully at her home surrounded by her loving family in Canton, MS on Thursday, July 21, 2022.
Mariam, the 5th of 6 children was born on December 30th, 1925, in Lafayette, LA to Alfred F. Boustany and Florida Saloom Boustany. She was Baptized at St. John the Evangelist Cathedral and educated in Catholic Schools, graduating as Salutatorian of her class at Mt. Carmel Catholic School. While there, she played guard on the basketball team, was the recipient of the American Legion Award and offered a scholarship to Dominican College. She graduated from Southwestern Louisiana Institute, now the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, where she served as a reporter for the college paper, and followed up with post graduate work at LSU.
Mariam married the love of her life, Ernest Buttross, on September 28th,1947, and they moved to Canton. On arrival, she was a soft spoken beautiful, stylish and radiant newlywed. Deeply in love with her husband, Ernest, she quickly adjusted from her single life to that of a business woman working side-by-side with him and family at Buttross Department Store. She was blessed with 8 children who were the focus of her love and attention. Amazingly, she continued to work in the store, while running the household and maintaining her deep devotion to Ernest. Mariam modeled a heart for service to her children by always assisting those in need in our community. At the 100th Anniversary of the store, families returned to the store to ask for Mrs. Buttross. She clothed generations of customers who shopped in the store and was a bright light for those who walked through the doors.
One of Mariam’s greatest joys was that of gathering her large family and preparing delicious meals with Lebanese and Cajun flare, which she blessed with her eloquent prayers imparting faith, love and wisdom to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
As an active and faithful member of her church, she served as lector at Mass, where the Holy Spirit spoke through her as she beautifully read scripture, as well as teaching and mentoring bible study group. She was a long-time member of the Altar and Sacred Heart Societies, serving in many leadership roles.
Mariam was gifted in floral design and was an active participant in the Canton Garden Club, where she won many state and district awards for her beautiful flower arrangements. She was also a life-long avid reader and was elected to serve as President of the Friends of the Library Board.
She grew up with a love of music, playing the piano, singing and dancing. Her children would often walk in their home with Mariam and Ernest dancing in the den to their favorite Bing Crosby tunes. She nurtured this love for music in her children, and this love continues to be passed down to the next generations.
Mariam and Ernest instilled an appreciation and affection for their Lebanese heritage to their children through their membership in the Cedars of Lebanon Club in Jackson. She attended many conventions in the Southern Federation with their family. Mariam and Ernest also loved traveling with extended beloved family to beautiful destinations throughout the United States and overseas.
Among the many honors and accolades, she was named the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow and as a member of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, she achieved the highest rank of Lady Grand Cross.
Mariam was a gentle, beautiful soul imparting simple acts of kindness, whenever she found others in need. She devoted her entire life to God, her family and quiet service to her community.
Predeceasing Mariam was her beloved husband Ernest of 64 years, her parents, her brothers Dr. Mike, Antoine, and Dr. Charles Boustany and her sisters Yvonne Buttross and Inez Karre’, grandson Sidney Ernest Kraker, daughter-in-law, Alice Baker Buttross and many other beloved sisters and brothers-in-law and other family members.
Survivors include her 8 devoted children: Miriam B. Koury (Peter), Ernest L. Buttross, Jr., Dr. Susan Buttross (Robert Riddell), Martha B. Dinkha, Dr. John Buttross (Paula), Annette B. Minninger (Jim), Cindy B. Mansour (Abe), Becky B. Kraker (Wes) and 23 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren. Dear sister-in law, Frances Buttross Payne, Joyce Abraham Buttross, Madelyn Boustany Hilliard, and brother-in-law, Bill Feaheny and very special cousin and life-long friend, Doris Boustany Reggie.
The family extends a very special thanks to all of mother’s special care givers, especially those who were with her for almost a decade, Jennifer Miller and Frankie Luckett.
The family will be receiving visitors at Breeland Funeral Home in Canton from 5 to 6:45 pm on Saturday, July 23rd, concluding with a Rosary.
Her funeral Mass will be celebrated at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 24th at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, where she was a communicant for 75 years.
Memorial contributions in honor of Mariam may be made to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 238 E. Center St., Canton, MS, 39046 or Children’s Hospital of Mississippi, Mariam B. and Ernest L. Buttross Family Fund, 2500 North State, Jackson, MS 39216.