Jamie Temple, owner of the Buttercup on Second Street in Bay St. Louis and former owner of The Phoenix bar in New Orleans, lost his year-long battle with cancer on January 4. He was 63.
Jamie was raised in Union, NJ, where he graduated from Union High School. Shortly after graduation he moved to San Francisco, where he worked as a bartender, then joined the US Coast Guard and was stationed in New Orleans. He fell in love with the city and remained there after his discharge from the Armed Services.
In New Orleans, Jamie owned The Phoenix bar. He was a founder of the New Orleans AIDS Task Force and was one of the first to hold a fundraiser for that organization. He also volunteered with Buzzy’s Boys, a group that helps AIDS victims seeking guidance, financial support and medications.
Jamie was a longtime activist, fighting to stop police discrimination against the LGBTQ community. Empathetic toward people who have fallen on hard times, Jamie once invited a person off the streets and into his home; the man later said, “Jamie saved my life that night.” He regularly opened his businesses for fundraisers and meetings, happily emceeing any event.
Jamie also supported the leather community in New Orleans and hosted numerous fundraisers. He was Grand Marshall for Southern Decadence and founded the city’s largest street party to kick off the festival, “Knight of the Black Mask.” He was also an active member of the Lords of Leather Mardi Gras Krewe. Jamie loved the city and enjoyed volunteering as a tour guide in the French Quarter for the National Park Service.
Jamie moved to Waveland in 2005just weeks before Hurricane Katrina, purchasing the Buttercup on Second Street in Bay St. Louis, which at the time was a bakery and ice cream shop. Both the bakery and his home were severely damaged by the storm, leaving him living in a trailer for more than a year. Undaunted, his vision transformed the battered Buttercup into one of Old Town’s most successful restaurants. Jamie could often be found pouring coffee and sharing jokes with his loyal customers, soon to be friends. He was also truly beloved by his employees.
In his spare time, Jamie also enjoyed acting in local theater.
Jamie leaves behind his longtime partner and husband of seven years, George “Marney” Cossitt; his brothers and sisters-in-law, John and Dena Temple of Waveland and Tom and Neva Temple of Edison, NJ; nephew Forrest Temple of California; nieces Dale Temple of Edison, NJ Glynne Temple Richards of Seaford, Del.; aunt Lorna Ress of Pembroke Pines, Fla.; and countless cousins and friends. Memorial donations can be made to your local animal shelter.