A Memorial Service for Lily Thomas Abraham Mafrige will be held at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, November 18, at First Presbyterian Church in Greenville, Mississippi. She was born on March 24, 1916, and passed away peacefully on Tuesday November 14, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Her family will receive visitors at the church immediately following the service. Services are under the direction of Boone Funeral Home, Greenville.
Lily Abraham lived the longest part of her life in Greenville, Mississippi, where she was very active as a wife, mother, and in business, philanthropic, and social endeavors with her husband, the late George Abraham. George was a successful businessman, real estate developer, and planter in the Mississippi Delta.
Lily Abraham was interested in education. She was president of the P.T.A. at every level of her four children’s schools. She was a founding member and president of the Education Foundation, which made it possible for high school graduates in Greenville and Leland to further their education with grants and loans to fund their college tuition. She was also one of the originators of the Greenville Recreational and Teen-Age Center and put forth much tireless effort to make it a success.
Lily Abraham was a member of the King’s Daughters Nurses Aids during wartime and spent many hours assisting patients and nurses at a time when there was an acute shortage of nurses. She was chairman of the Tuberculosis Christmas Seals campaign and an avid promoter of the American Heart Association.
As a charter member of Trinity United Methodist Church, she was active as a Board Member, Sunday school nursery teacher, and president of her adult Sunday school class. Lily was head of a committee to improve the Washington County Poor House when it was found to be in deplorable condition for its occupants. She helped establish the Washington County Old Folks Home, giving a welcomed place for those in need to live out their life in a healthy and respectable environment.
George Abraham died in 1972 and two years later, Lily married a family friend, Stevens Mafrige, of Houston, Texas. Although she moved to Texas, she continued to maintain a home in Greenville.
In 1974, Danny Thomas was honored with a week-long calendar of events in Lebanon when that country recognized its native son for his accomplishments with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, and his successful career in the entertainment field. Because of her many years of work for the benefit of St. Jude, Danny Thomas invited Lily to join a group of friends and benefactors to accompany him and his family to Lebanon to receive this recognition.
In Houston, Lily Mafrige continued to be very active in benefits for St. Jude Hospital. In 1978, she co-chaired a successful event with Mrs. L.F. (Eleanor) McCollum. Danny Thomas, Dr. Michael DeBakery, and attorney Leon Jaworski contributed their talents to support the worthy cause. In addition to St. Jude, she was active in the American Heart Association, the Alley Theatre, the Petroleum Club, and the Pine Forest Country Club.
Lily Abraham Mafrige was preceded in death by her husbands, George Abraham of Greenville, Mississippi, and Stevens Mafrige of Houston, Texas, her daughter Nancy Abraham Guessford of Arlington, Texas, her son Gerald Abraham of Greenville, Mississippi, and her grandson Todd Abraham of Greenville, Mississippi.
Her children include Mrs. David Buttross, Jr (Joyce) and her husband, Dr. David Buttross of Lake Charles, Louisiana, Nancy’s husband, Wayne Guessford of Arlington, Texas, Douglas Abraham and his wife, Sally of San Diego, California, and Gerald’s wife, Lelia Abraham of Greenville, Mississippi.
Grandchildren include Lily Buttross Zaunbrecher (Danny) of Lake Charles, Louisiana, Dr. Melanie Buttross (Bill Thomas) of McLean, Virginia, Dr. David Buttross, III (Mia) of Lake Charles, Louisiana, Charlotte Buttross Scott (Mike) of Mandeville, Louisiana, Wayne K. Guessford, Jr. (Donata) of Cincinnati, Ohio, Dawn Guessford Miller (Steve) of Arlington, Texas, Sally McGee Abraham Liddle of Hollywood, California, Doug Abraham, II of San Diego, California, and Ryan Abraham of Asheville, North Carolina. Lily also has 18 great grandchildren and 1 great, great grandchild.
The Abraham family has requested that memorials be sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.