Kare's Village Diner in Richland has closed after the sudden death of the beloved owner, leaving the more than just an empty building.

A family friend and business associate shared the tragic news on the Kare's Village Diner Facebook page:

I'm writing for the Wilson family as Karen's friend and accountant, Linda...Karen went to be with her Lord and Savior Tuesday, April 30th, with a massive heart attack. I want everyone to know that she loved her Diner, she loved her customers, she loved her family and she died peacefully.

A sorrowful handwritten note has boon posted on the door.

Photo: Bobby Guy

Thoughts and prayers of care and concern flooded in from around the tight-knit Richland community, with many leaving special messages and remembrances on Facebook.

  • My condolences to the family. A true loss for the community.
  • How sad. I drive by there every day on my way to work. I wondered why it was closed the other day.
  • I’m so sorry to hear this. Prayers to her family. She was a very special lady who strived to please people. It will be a great loss to the community
  • She reached out to me when my brother passed. She name a breakfast after him. She was a real friend and will be missed by so many.
  • Oh no! I love going there and she was always so nice. As believers it is nice to know we’ll meet again. Our prayers and sympathy to the entire family.
  • I’ll miss your smile Karen. We first met in Augusta as fellow business owners and you fed me well. I so wish I could have visited you more often in Richland but I know you earned friends and customers wherever you were. Rest In Peace sweet friend I’ll miss your kind loving smile. You fed my stomach as well as my heart.

A "for rent" sign is now staked in the lawn and, who knows, another restaurant may reopen soon, but, clearly, it was Karen's care that made her place so special.

Photo: Bobby Guy
h/t Vanished Kalamazoo