The second half of the partnership responsible for the sprouting of the yellow Waffle House signs that have been synonymous with America’s Southeast, died on Wednesday, April 26. Tom Forkner is reported to have passed away at an assisted living facility in Suwanee, Georgia, only weeks after he lost his wife of 71 years Martha, and over a month after his Waffle House co-founder Joe Rogers Sr. died. He was 98 years old.
Waffle House’s beginnings can be traced back to 1955 when Forkner and Rogers Sr. started the chain in Avondale Estates. As the restaurant branched out into a chain, it became popular for its 24-hour service. After six decades in the business, it remains one of the only restaurants that doesn’t close, 365 days a year. By 2017 the independent joint touts 1,500 locations and employs over 40,000 employees.
Friends, family, business associates, and loving members of the public are expected to attend the Norcross First United Methodist Church to honor his life, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 30.