Merle Stephens Retired restaurateur

September 19, 1992

Merle Stephens, retired owner of a restaurant started by her parents at their Canton home, died Monday of complications of diabetes at the home of a granddaughter in Ellicott City.

A memorial service for the 82-year-old Toone Street resident will be at 11 a.m. today at Holy Evangelists Episcopal Church, 1001 S. Potomac St.

Born in Baltimore, the former Merle Lidard was a 1928 graduate of Eastern High School and did secretarial work after her graduation from what is now Towson State University.

After her father's death in 1915, her mother and an aunt converted the grocery store he had started on the first floor of their home into a restaurant with 11 tables and a counter.

She took over the business, known as Lidard's, in 1945 after the death of her mother. Though it originally was open for three meals a day, its operation was cut to breakfast and lunch as industries in the area closed. The restaurant itself was closed when she retired in 1980.

Her husband of 57 years, William P. "Steve" Stephens, died just more than a year ago.

She is survived by two daughters, Nancy Anne Stephens of Baltimore and Frances Stephens Razmus of Ellicott City, and three grandchildren.

The family suggested that memorial contributions could be made to the Holy Evangelists Church or to the hospice of the Visiting Nurse Association of Baltimore.

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