Eli Tom Stevens
March 15, 1936 – November 14, 2020
Eli Tom Stevens, a lifetime resident of Birmingham, Alabama and owner of the iconic Lloyd's Restaurant died Saturday after a hard fought and lengthy battle with cancer at 84. He was surrounded by his family and the loving hands of dedicated caregivers. Stevens was born on March 15, 1936 to Greek immigrants whose original surname was Papathanasiou, and that heritage was the center of his life. He grew up on Norwood Boulevard in Birmingham, where he attended Norwood Elementary School, and went on to graduate from Phillips High School, where he excelled in all sports. After high school, he attended Auburn University where he played football and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He earned a degree in business that paved the way to a long and successful career. Not long after graduating from Auburn, Stevens became the co-owner, and eventual owner, of the Domino Lounge in Homewood. Soon after that, he was called to duty during the Berlin Crisis of 1961 for the 117th Tactical Reconnaissance Group of Alabama's National Guard. He spent 14 months in Berlin, leaving behind his beautiful and steadfast wife, Patricia ("Pat") Miller Stevens and soon to be firstborn son, Tom Eli Stevens. Upon Stevens' return home, he went to work for his father at the Home Baking Company. He ran bread routes for all the local restaurants during the late 1960's. The route included Lloyd's Restaurant on the old Highway 280, a business he would soon buy and run for more than 50 years with Pat. Pat often waited on customers, bussed tables, and worked the register while Eli ran the kitchen. Besides Southern staples such as fried chicken and barbecue, Eli added the now-favorite Greek chicken to the Lloyd's menu. Stevens had the vision to move the restaurant in 1978 from its original location in Chelsea, Alabama to the current location on the new Highway 280. Back then, Perrin's and Way High Farms were the only other businesses on that lonely stretch of road. The restaurant has been a landmark for so many people through a half-century in business. Lloyd's became synonymous with a huge sweet tea, crispy onion rings, and the now famous barbecue, hamburger steaks and fried chicken to generations of faithful customers and family known to congregate at the big round table near the kitchen. The restaurant was his passion. Stevens truly loved the business and was happiest checking on every detail with his signature Punch cigar tucked in the corner of his mouth. Stevens was a lifetime member of Holy Trinity Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Leadership 100 and the Monday Morning Quarterback Club. If there was a football game on, Stevens was watching it, and more than occasionally, wagering on it. He was also an avid golfer who often liked to play by "Eli's Rules" to the delight, or dismay, of his partner. But seldom without a wry joke or a knowing grunt. He was also a big fan of classic movies, often flipping through channels to find Westerns like Sergio Leone's My Name Is Nobody. He often watched television with one of his many rescue dogs by his side, like his loyal-to-the-end, Thunder. He had rescued countless dogs on his trips to and from Lloyds, and looked after his pack at his farm or rental property to ensure they were safe and well. Eli is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Patricia Miller Stevens; his son Tom Stevens, daughter-in-law Stacy, and their two children, Mary Farley and Miller; his son Father Elias Stevens (Bogue), daughter-in-law Kasandra, and their three children, Eli (Kellie), Olivia, and Anna; his daughter Mary Stevens Flach, son-in-law Pete, and their three children, Philip (Shelby), Patricia, and Crawford; his daughter Leila Stevens Morton, and two children, William and Ann Miller Morton, and son-in-law Bill Morton. Eli is also survived by his sister, Harriette (Charles) Kamburis, and two brothers, Ernest (Anne) and Tommy Stevens, as well as a host of nieces, nephews, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. He is preceded in death by his parents, Mary and Tom Stevens; one brother, George Stevens; and his infant grandson Edgar Morton. Eli lived a very full life, surrounded by many wonderful friends and family. His biggest blessing was his wife Pat, their four children and ten grandchildren. He created a legacy at Lloyds, a true Southern icon, that will remain in the Stevens family. That is what he wanted and will always be remembered for. To Salome, Inelle, Laarchsha and Natasha you are true gifts of Godly service. Your mark on Eli and his family's lives will be eternal. John 11: 25-26 "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. May his memory be eternal. A visitation will be held Friday, November 27, 2020 at 10 AM to 11 AM at Holy Trinity Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral with a Funeral Service to follow at 11:00 AM. Burial to follow at Elmwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Holy Trinity Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Shelby County Humane society, Alzheimer"s Society, and The American Cancer Society.
Friday, November 27, 2020
Friday, November 27, 2020
Eli Tom Stevens
November 24, 2020
Thanks for the memories . I was the only gentile who thought I was Greek. Rest In Peace. As your friends called me Tonas
November 15, 2020
Dear Pat and Family,
Please accept my sincere sympathy in the loss of Eli. He was a legend, and will be missed by his many friends. I never saw him without his warm and engaging smile.