Richard Fred Stockle Jr. was the beloved business owner of Mecca Billiards in downtown Fresno, along with his wife Nannette and their children. Mecca Billiards has been passed down in the Stockle family since 1959 when Richard’s grandfather founded the store. It was Richard who moved the store to its downtown location 37 years ago as he found it provided the space to store and display billiards tables. Since then, he has been passionate about his business and about downtown. He funded the memorable mural on the front of the Mecca Billiards building and was awarded by former mayor Alan Autry in 2008 for Mecca Billiards 20-year anniversary in downtown.
Mecca Billiards was most known for providing the best quality new and used billiard tables, installations, and repairs, along with other game tables and accessories. Customers at Mecca Billiards would be able to customize pool tables by picking out everything from the table itself to the cloth. Richard himself would personally go and do all the installations. He loved that part of the job, doing the hands-on work.
Sadly, Richard passed away on February 18, 2023 from ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It is a rare nervous system disease that weakens muscles and impacts physical function. Although treatments can help, there is unfortunately no cure and Richard worked to bring awareness to this. Even through his sickness, Richard would continue to go into the shop with his wife and do as much as he could. He had no plans to retire.
Mecca Billiards time in downtown may be up, but the Stockle family legacy will continue downtown as the building with its mural will remain in the family.