Joe Rogers Sr., who co-founded the iconic all-night Waffle House diner in Avondale Estates in 1955, has died. He was 97.
Rogers, born in Tennessee in 1919, died Friday. He is survived by his wife, four children, nine grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild, according to Channel 2 Action News.
Rogers co-founded the restaurant chain with neighbor Tom Forkner while working for the Toddle House chain. The pair had met when Rogers bought a house from Forkner, who was in the real estate business.
By 1961, the duo had four Waffle House locations, and Rogers joined the business full-time, helping expand the new chain across the country.
Today there are more than 1,500 locations.
Rogers and Forkner phased themselves out of the day-to-day in the 1970s but still spent time at the corporate headquarters in Norcross even in their mid-80s.
Rogers liked to stop by locations and get behind the counter.
"I'm not an executive, I'm a waffle cook," he said in a 2004 interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
A memorial service and celebration of life will be held Wednesday, March 8, at 1:30 pm at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center, 800 Spring Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30308. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Giving Kitchen, which provides assistance to Atlanta area restaurant workers (thegivingkitchen.org
), or the Ida Cason Callaway Foundation (callawaygardens.com
Read moreA news article about Joe Rogers Sr. has been published on ajc.comFamily-placed obituary about Joe Rogers Sr.