A Mass of Christian Burial for Alberta Byone will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 29 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Cloutierville with the Rev. Christian Ogbonna serving as celebrant.  Burial will follow at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Cemetery under the direction of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home. The family will receive friends from 6 – 10 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home with the recitation of the Holy Rosary at 7:30 p.m. in the chapel.

Alberta Byone, 92, passed away at home with her family by her side Nov. 25, 2018.  She was born in the Cloutierville community where she lived her entire life.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Edris; daughter and son, Debbie and Allen Byone; grandson, James Byone; brother, Ozay Coutee; father and mother, Cleveland and Juliette Coutee; and her stepmother, Agnes Coutee.

She was a beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother, aunt, cousin and friend. She is survived by her 12 children, Sarah, Janie, Eddie, Cleve, Roger, Johnny, Bobbie, Sherry, Judy, Steve, Troy and Patty; sister-in-law, Ella D. Byone; 37 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and special friends.

Alberta was devoted to her family and worked tirelessly to provide whatever they needed. Her large vegetable garden required back-breaking work but was actually both a source of pride and a labor of love.  She was never hesitant about taking on too much responsibility or exploring some new endeavor, such as raising chickens, becoming an accomplished seamstress by sewing clothing for her children and creating very artistic and beautiful quilts.  She was also an excellent cook who brought the family together by hosting large, festive gatherings centered around the table on Sundays and holidays.  Some of her most delicious dishes were her biscuits, hot tamales, meat pies, pecan cake and pecan candy.

She had a spine of steel and a heart of gold. She possessed incredible grit, determination, empathy, compassion and simple human kindness, in addition to being a non-judgmental listener.  The words “give up” were not in her vocabulary. It was extraordinary the way she taught by example; her children knew they were to help each other, everyone had a job to do and everyone had to do their part for the good of the family unit.  Laziness was never an option. For example, she picked pecans every year and required the children to do likewise, thus teaching them valuable, practical lessons about responsibility and money management in the process.

Alberta lived a life of service to those she loved.  The first manifestation of this tendency to put everyone else’s needs before her own was when, as a small child, she began to provide care for her grandmother.  Throughout her life, she provided care and solace to other family members in need, including her father, and later, her spouse.  She lived her faith for all to see, with a ready smile and a helping hand.  She happily devoted countless hours to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Cloutierville.  Alberta served in whatever capacity she was needed, including the Altar Society, Fair Committee, Bingo Committee and as a member of the church choir.

Alberta never gave up and she always put herself last.  She was honest in all ways and instilled that value in her family.  Her sense of humor and beautiful smile made her an irresistible and fun person.  She saw the glass as half full, not half empty, and she had a sharp wit; she could make you laugh when you least expected it.  Most importantly, she NEVER refused chocolate.

Alberta didn’t leave us.  She returned to God because her work was done; and what a job she did!