Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner opened their first Waffle House in Avondale Estates, Ga., on Labor Day in 1955.
Rogers died on Friday at the age of 97. Forkner is 98 years old.
When the two met, Rogers worked for the Toddle House restaurant chain and Forkner worked in real estate.
Forkner was the businessman in the partnership that produced the all-night diner chain, and Rogers was the people person — a champion for customers and employees.
The yellow Waffle House sign has become a familiar landmark along roadways in the Southeast.