Tom Harken owned several Casa Ole restaurants around East Texas before retiring five years ago and moving to Tyler.

And he passed away last week at a Houston hospital at the age of 76.  Have you heard that he hid a secret for much of his life?  It's true.

Harken's first Casa Ole opened in Beaumont in 1979, and as a businessman experienced his share of ups and downs, but by 1992 he was given the prestigious Horatio Alger award for perseverance.

There was a secret he hid for many years, and that was that he was illiterate.  Eventually he did learn how to read, with the help of his wife, and he wrote a book about it called, "The Millionaire's Secret."  Eventually, he worked on the Literacy Council's board, until having to retire because of illness.

Funeral services are coming up this Thursday and Friday in Beaumont.


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