Former Pasco Rep. Tommy Stevens dies at age 80
Former state Rep. Thomas A. Stevens, a Dade City insurance executive who served in the Legislature from 1962 to 1972, died Sunday, his family announced. He was 80.
Stevens, a Democrat and relative of the widely known Burnside family of Pasco County, represented the 70th District, comprised of Hillsborough, Citrus, Pasco and Hernando counties. A veteran of the National Guard, he was chairman of the Miltary and Veterans Affairs Committee in 1965 and the Banks and Loans Committee from 1967-70. He went on to work as William Bevis' executive assistant when he was chairman of the Florida Public Service Commission.
He moved to Key West with his wife, Henrietta, in 1978 and lived there 30 years. He is survived by his wife, six children, 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday at Calvary Assembly of God Church in Dade City. his funeral will be held Thursday at Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee.
Read the family's obituary below:
Thomas A. “Tommy” Stevens, Sr., 80, of Tallahassee, was taken home by our Lord on Sunday, November 6, 2011. He was a devout Christian and loved his fellow man. “He did for many, but many will never know”.
He is survived by his wife, Henrietta Ellison Stevens and his children; Thomas A. Stevens, Jr. (Karen) of Mims, FL; Hayes Warren Stevens (Arlene) of St. Joseph, FL; Mary Smisek (George), Nancy Stevens of Dade City, FL, Laura Schrader (Terry) of San Antonio, FL; Walker Morgan (Chris) of Tallahassee, FL; thirteen grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Also surviving are his sister, Stanya Goff (Mike) of Bartow, FL; and his uncle, Stanley Castle Burnside of Dade City.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Carson Stevens and Mary Huberta Burnside Stevens, and a sister, Lucy Albena Berkstresser.
Mr. Stevens, a citrus grower and an insurance executive was a native of Dade City and a fifth generation member of a Pasco County pioneer family, the Burnsides. His grandfather, Archie James Burnside served as Pasco County Clerk of the Court for more than 50 years and was succeeded by his son, Stanley Castle Burnside.
He was a graduate of Pasco High School going on to further his education at St. Leo College and the University of Florida where his love of the Florida Gators began. Fall was his favorite season; he could spend Saturdays in the Swamp cheering on his beloved Gators. He was a long standing “Bull Gator” who enjoyed tailgating with his Gator family.
He was patriotic and proud to serve his country as a member of the Florida National Guard. He continued his public service as a member of the Florida House of Representatives from Pasco, Hernando, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, 1962 through 1972. Mr. Stevens later served as Executive Assistant to William H. Bevis, Chairman of Florida Public Service Commission.
In 1978, he and Henrietta moved to Key West where they purchased Key West Insurance, Inc. spending more than 30 years in business there. He was an active member of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents for many years serving on the Board of Directors and various committees. During those years, he remained politically active and was dubbed “Mr. Republican” in local publications.
The funeral service will be held at 1:00 PM, EST, Thursday, November 10, 2011 at Bradfordville First Baptist Church with his grandsons serving as pallbearers. Interment will follow at Oakland Cemetery, Tallahassee. The family will receive friends from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM, Wednesday, November 9th at Bevis Funeral Home, Tallahassee.
On Saturday, November 12, at 11:00 AM, EST, a memorial service is scheduled in Dade City Florida at Calvary Assembly of God Church, US 98 By-Pass.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in Tommy’s memory may be made to Big Bend Hospice, 1723 Mahan Center Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32308 or to Bradfordville First Baptist Church, 6494 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL 32312.