Aldean “Liz” Stoudamire, daughter of the late Julius Sr. and Mary Heard, was born December 14th, 1938, in Leesburg, Georgia. She graduated from Lee County High School. She gave her life to Christ at a very young age and was baptized at House of God Saints in Christ, in Leesburg, GA.
Aldean later relocated to Chicago, Illinois, in 1957, where she united in holy matrimony with Rev. Daniel T. Stoudamire, Sr., in 1958. This union was blessed with two children and one stepdaughter: Winderl, Daniel Jr., and Maryann (proceeded in death).
In 1957, Aldean, became the Head Chef at Uno’s Pizzeria, in Chicago, IL, the original home of deep-dish pizza. She infused her southern roots into this Italian savory dish, essentially changing the recipe of the beloved crust of Uno’s deep-dish pizza. Each pizza made by her hands and proportioned by feel, an intensely personal work, a change that affected the pizza so much that it became the crowned jewel of Chicago, and one that the new owners of Uno’s came calling begging for the recipe of, after Aldean’s retirement.
Aldean was affectionately called “Momma” by all of Uno’s employees and customers alike, because of her sweet and soft mothering spirit that she extended to all. Aldean was an avid basketball fan and her favorite Chicago Bulls’ customers: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Horace Grant spoke to the, Chicago Tribune, of their surprise to discover that the amazing deep-dish pizza they adored so much was made by a black woman. They often stopped into Uno’s to enjoy pizza and to spend a little time with “Momma.”
Aldean was a star in the Chicago restaurateur industry, so much so, that in admiration, she was often featured in the Chicago Tribune and had awards bestowed upon her by Channel 7 News at a black-tie dinner for her contributions to Chicago’s restaurant history. This also included being interviewed by Channel 7 News’, Diane Burns.
In the 1990’s, Aldean, would lead the way in the international expansion of Uno’s Pizzeria into the frozen food sector, franchising, and the country of Japan. Aldean’s storied history at Uno’s Pizzeria is told all over the world with a photo of Aldean, and plaque with the story of “Momma” on the walls of every location. Aldean retired from the restaurant industry in 1997.
During her time in Chicago, Aldean, loved to attend church, cook, watch basketball games, shop on Magnificent Mile, and of course chat with her sister-friends, Liz (proceeded in death) and Fatimah.
She returned to Leesburg, GA, after retirement in 1997, where Aldean devoted herself to the care of her aging mother. She attended Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church with her mother until her mother’s passing. At which point she joined New Direction Christian Center in Albany, GA., under the leadership of the late Apostle Isaiah Williams and Pastor Theresa Williams, where she served as a mother of the church.
Aldean loved to sit on the porch of the big house talking good “smack” with her brothers, walking five miles with her brother Charles, or watching a basketball game. She also truly enjoyed spending time shopping, dining, or just being out with her very special sister-friend Margo Clayton. Aldean was an amazing and adoring grandmother who would head to Chicago for the birth of every great-grandchild she had and would stay for months just to help take care of them. Aldean’s core belief was in the togetherness of family. Every grandchild was loved on, adored, kissed, hugged, and fed at the table of “Momma”, always with the loving words of “I Love You More” and “Always Put God First!”
Aldean retreated to Las Vegas, NV, in 2019, where she was surrounded with love and affection from her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. The spirit of “Momma” continued, and she quickly touched the hearts of all she met. Her West Coast family found themselves on the receiving end of true love. Aldean spent her days and nights watching her grandchildren perform skits and songs for her and filled their stomachs with delicious after dinner treats. Aldean provided sound spiritual advice with a sense of humor to those at Daybreak Christian Fellowship under the Leadership of Pastor Michael Haynes. Her presence brought closeness to the Stoudamire family and her legacy will always continue through the seeds she sowed.
Aldean was the epitome of class, style, grace, femininity, and a true example of a wife, mother, and woman of God.
Her beautiful life and legacy will be cherished in the lives of her children: Winderl P. Stoudamire, Daniel T. Stoudamire Jr. (Alicia). Grandchildren: Na’im Muhammad (Sinclair), Latasha Aldean Stoudamire-Sanders (Shaunta), Daniel Sarlitto (Shelby), Melissa Stoudamire, Stilz Stoudamire. Great Grandchildren: Aliyana, Shahzaade, Zahrah, Christopher, Paris, Saafiyah, Amir, Saayed, Domenik, Everett, Stilz Damien, and Donovan Carter. Siblings: Earnest (proceeded in death), Walker (proceeded in death), Helen (proceeded in death), Ruth (proceeded in death), Willie Morris (proceeded in death), Melvin (proceeded in death), Charles, MacArthur, John, Brenda, Julius Jr. (proceeded in death), and Annie Zelma (proceeded in death). She also leaves behind a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, friends, and church family.
Grandma was the epitome of motherhood and elegance. I remember meeting her as a young boy and that smile she had would light the entire room and her laughter was a beautiful sound like music to the soul. Her hugs were full of warmth yet she spoke wisdom in your ears and showed much compassion to all who came across her path which was given in pure love. I’ll miss her and never forget the days at Unos with my mother and sister. A wonderful God fearing woman who has lived her life to the fullest as a righteous woman who has returned to the Father in heaven. Love you momma and rest in the Buxom of our forefathers Abraham Issac and Jacob. Shalom
What a beautiful life! May her legacy live on in the heart of all who love her.
I’m gonna miss you SOOO MUCH grandma….😭I love you dearly rest peacefully