Homecoming service for Richie’s Diner founder Jack Williams set for April 14

Williams started the Richie’s Diner chain, which has locations in Temecula and Murrieta, in 1991.

Rancho Community Church in Temecula is hosting the homecoming celebration service for Jack Everette Williams, the gregarious founder of the popular Richie’s Diner chain who died March 16.

The Silver Plate-winning restaurateur, who was honored by the International Food Manufacturers Association in 2014 for a long career that included a stint as a Sizzler franchisee, was 84.

The service is set for 1:30 p.m., April 14 in the church’s main sanctuary, 31300 Rancho Community Way. For more information, visit englandfamilymortuary.com, which has posted a memorial wall and obituary for Williams.

Longtime Temecula resident Rick Reiss said Williams, a native of Plainview, Texas who went to high school in New Mexico, was so beloved in the region because his restaurant was more than just a place where people could get a warm cinnamon roll with their breakfast — sometimes from a tray Williams carried from the kitchen himself — or order their favorite item off a menu chock full of comfort food.

“He and his wife Linda regularly supported America’s military and veterans, law enforcement officers and first responders, as well as sponsoring fundraising events for nonprofits and people in the community who have needed help with medical bills, hardship cases, etc.,” he said.

Williams’ passing also was mourned by Richie’s fans — “Everyone in heaven is getting the best omelettes ever right now,” wrote @firehouse_ca on Twitter — and local politicians, including Murrieta Councilman Randon Lane, Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington and state Sen. Jeff Stone, the former Temecula councilman and Riverside County supervisor who adjourned the Senate in his honor on March 22.

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