Cover photo for Stephen Jonathan Stevens's Obituary
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Stephen Jonathan Stevens

September 10, 2021

Stephen Jonathan Stevens

Stephen Jonathan Stevens, 68, of Panama City Beach, Florida, passed away peacefully Friday, September 10, 2021, at his home. Steve was born June 10, 1953, in Biloxi, Mississippi to Gus and Irene Stevens. He graduated from Gulfport East High School class of 1971. Steve will always be remembered for his love of cooking. He jokingly stated he was a graduate of the Gus Stevens School of Culinary Arts in Biloxi under the strict tutelage of his own father. Steve turned his passion and experience into the award-winning and lucrative Hamilton’s Restaurant, formerly located on North Lagoon Drive in Panama City Beach. Purchasing Hamilton’s in August 1992, Steve invested his energies into creating a gastronomic landmark where thousands of guests dined on his original recipes annually. Steve produced Hamilton’s annual Cajun Fest, a three-day regional music and food festival featuring famous Cajun entertainment and a vast array of Cajun delicacies. The family festival drew enormous crowds and became a notable destination for locals and tourists every spring. Steve was extremely proud of his celebrated trademark Lobzilla event during which Hamilton’s featured live whole Maine lobster flown in fresh to be served at the pleasure of his clientele. A marketing genius and performer at heart, Steve was even known to don a lobster costume and become Lobzilla for Hamilton’s television commercials and print advertisements! Inventive, creative and singular in every way, Steve was an infinite geyser of ideas which made Hamilton’s Restaurant a Panama City Beach favorite. Sadly, a tornado from Hurricane Ivan in September 2004 destroyed Hamilton’s, the sole love of Steve’s life. He mourned its loss until his death. He is survived by two sisters, Elaine Stevens (Jim Smith) of Biloxi and Kathy (Robin) Roberts of Mobile, Alabama; nieces, Alexa Roberts (Melissa Robertson), Jennifer (Jere) Dominescy and great-nephew, Jonah Dominescy of Mobile, Angela (Simon) Lathrop of Norman, Oklahoma; and nephew, Chris Strompolos (Monica Rodriquez) and great-niece, Diana of Altadena, California. His favorite cousins Johnny, Charlie, Ellie, Julie, Stephanie, Steve, and Frank. Special thanks to his dedicated and patient Executive Assistant, Kim Malcom, and driver/bodyguard, Joey Middlebrooks, both of Panama City Beach, Florida, who provided comfort, support, and love until the very end. In recognition of Steve’s amazing life and in lieu of flowers, please make donations to the local humane society in your area. Steve loved animals and he always wanted to help an animal in need. A private funeral for family and close friends was held Saturday, September 25, 2021, Bradford O’Keefe Funeral Home 1726-15th Street, Gulfport, Mississippi followed by interment at Southern Memorial Park, Biloxi, Mississippi. Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home, 15th Street, Gulfport is honored to serve the Stevens family.
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