Barbara Gonzaque Boutte, widow of the Alvin J. Boutte, CEO of Indecorp, Inc., the holding company for Independence Bank of Chicago, has died. Mr. Boutte also was president of Independence Bank, once the nation’s largest black-owned bank.
Mrs. Boutte died July 17 in her Markham, Ill., home from multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer. She was 86.
Known affectionately as “BeBe,” Mrs. Boutte was born Barbara Theresa Gonzaque on August 25, 1930, in Alexandria, Louisiana. She attended Xavier University in New Orleans, where she met Alvin Boutte, a pharmacy major, during her freshman year. They married during their senior year..
The two worked together and founded Independent Drug Stores, a drug store chain.
While she worked closely with her husband, Mrs. Boutte continued to pursue her passion for music which had been instilled in her by her parents. At Xavier, she sang in the choir and earned a degree music education. She provided piano accompaniment for well-known vocal talents, eventually becoming a music teacher employed by the Chicago Public Schools.
In addition to pursuing business and the arts, the couple financially supported the civil rights movement, including The Million Man March.
She is survived by two daughters, two sons and seven grandchildren.
Services will be held Thursday, July 27 at St. Clotilde Church in Chicago. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Cancer Support Center in Barbara Boutte’s name.