Howard E. Branding, the former owner of one of downtown Lake Zurich's more popular eateries, is being remembered as a devoted family man -- and for a favorite breakfast dish.
"He would have over-easy eggs," said Sheila Chudik, co-owner of the Koffee Kup restaurant Branding once ran. "They had to be very, very runny."
"And soft bacon," added Bob Chudik, Sheila's husband. "You couldn't overcook his bacon."
Branding, 73, died Monday after an illness.
Branding owned the Koffee Kup restaurant at 30 E. Main St. in the 1960s and '70s. He sold it to Bob Chudik's parents in 1978.
Back then, the restaurant was called Branding's Koffee Kup.
"People still call it that," Sheila Chudik said.
Branding was a volunteer firefighter when he was a younger man. Bob Chudik worked for Branding as a dishwasher in the Koffee Kup kitchen as a teen, and he recalled Branding rushing out whenever there was a fire.
"Customers would be waiting for him to get back," Bob Chudik said.
Branding also owned Lake Zurich Florist, which is next door at 34 E. Main St., for many years after selling the Koffee Kup. He sold the business a few years ago.
One of his daughters, Kristin Maskalunas, recalled working with her dad in the florist shop when she was younger.
"We were a very close family," she said.
When grandchildren came along, they were very important to him, Maskalunas said.
"He loved going to my son's baseball and football games," she said.
Branding was friendly and easy going, the Chudiks said. And he loved Lake Zurich.
"He was all about family and friends, and the community," Bob Chudik said.
Visitation is set for 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, at Ahlgrim Family Funeral Home, 415 S. Buesching Road, Lake Zurich. Prayers will be said at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the funeral home.
A funeral is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Francis de Sales Church, 33 S. Buesching Road, Lake Zurich.
Interment will be in Lake Zurich Cemetery.
Branding's survivors include: his wife, Karen; two daughters; and six grandchildren.