SPARTANBURG, SC Long-time Beacon Drive-In icon John Cecil “J.C.” Stroble is being remembered as a person who treated everyone like his next door neighbor.
Stroble, who greeted customers at the restaurant counter and called out their orders to the cooks, died Monday at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. He was 71.
Earlier this month, Stroble was found unresponsive after a fall at his home and was taken to the hospital, according to family. He received a serious head injury from the fall and was on life support for several days before being removed from it.
Over the last two weeks, well wishers followed his progress on CaringBridge.org. They also wanted to send out prayers to their beloved “caller” and a large “Get Well” poster was placed near the counter at the Beacon, where Stroble used to call out the orders to the cooks. Friends and customers from around the area stopped by to sign it.
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Stroble's career at the Beacon spanned almost 58 years and involved meeting presidents, governors and people from all over the world. Over the years, he was featured on national news programs and food shows. One of his last appearances was in a CBS Evening News segment with Scott Pelley in November 2011. Pelley stopped by the Beacon during the week the National Republican Debate was held at Wofford College.
Beacon founder John B. White Sr., hired Stroble as a carhop at the age of 14, and he worked his way up to the counter to take orders from customers.