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Harold Don Christian

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Harold Don Christian, 71, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 03, 2016 with his loving family at his bedside. A Celebration of Life will take place at 11:00 AM, Saturday, April 9, 2016 at Dr. Kevin Kennedy’s Trinity Baptist Church, 871 Woodlawn Drive and one block north of Abilene High School off Mockingbird Street, with Reverend Eric Calloway of Grace International Outreach Church in Denton, TX officiating. Burial will follow at Abilene Municipal Cemetery in the Cedar Hill Section, under the direction of Abilene Funeral Home. {{more}}Mr. Christian was born February 11, 1945, in Winnsboro, TX to Hal Lee “Tobe” and Mattie White Christian. He lived there nine years until his family moved to Taylor to operate their barbecue business. In 1957, Harold came to Abilene after his father opened up TOBE’S BAR-B-Q here. {{more}}Harold attended and graduated from Carter G. Woodson Jr.-Sr. High School in 1963. He was active in school playing football, basketball and played saxophone in the band and sang in the choir.Harold married the love his life, Drucilla C. Calloway, at the early age of 17, while a senior in high school. To this union three beautiful children were born: two sons, Andrei and Russell and a daughter, Vanessa. Harold took on his responsibility of providing for his family, working numerous jobs while still doing his part in the evenings at the family business . He worked for Templeton Pharmacy, Abilene Refuse Dept., Mead’s Bakery, Abilene Tractor Parts, Western-Southern and National Life Insurance Companies. In 1971, Harold became the proud owner of the family business and changed the name to Harold’s Bar-B-Q. His father continued to run the business, while Harold worked for Western-Southern Life Ins. Co.In 1976, because of Tobe’s failing health, Harold went to work full time at the restaurant. After buying the property in 1981, he decided to expand the building. His father, Tobe, continued to help Harold until his passing on March 6, 1984.Harold and his wife, Drucilla, continued to operate the business using all of his parents’ recipes and a few of his own. Harold’s Bar-B-Q will always be remembered across the country for its good meat, sauce and especially Mattie’s hot water cornbread. Everyone that had a chance to dine at his restaurant will always remember Harold’s Bar-B-Q as one of the best places in Abilene for good food and great customer service. He was selected as Restauranteur of the Month in March 1986 by the Abilene Restaurant Association. The Abilene Reporter News had a television commercial where Harold was interviewed about his great establishment.Mr. Christian was well known in the community, participating as a member of the Texas Restaurant Association. He was also active with the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, the Black Chamber of Commerce, and the Better Business Bureau. He was a past member of the Community Development Board, the Flood Water Management Control Board and served as a committee member of the Middle School Planning Board.Harold was a member of Antioch C.M.E. Church where he sang in and directed the choir, and served as a Chairman of the Steward Board. He later joined Mount Moriah Baptist Church and was baptized. He also sang in and directed the choir and served as Chairman of the Deacon Board until his health declined.Left to cherish his wonderful memories include his loving wife of 53 years, Drucilla Carroll Calloway Christian; son, Russell Arne Christian; daughter, Vanessa Earnestine Christian; daughter-in-law, Brenda Christian, all of Abilene; one brother, Milow Keith Christian and wife, Marria of Tyler, TX; two brothers-in-law, George Calloway and Gary Carroll; a sister, Gvahn Stewart of Winnsboro, TX; five sisters-in-law, Paula Boyce, Linda Winters, Glenda Jones, Anita Eddie and Sharon Frederick; ten grandchildren, Kortney Munson, Braderick, Shakoya, Amber, Shannon, Andrei, Joshua, Alexandria, Malaya and Nakysia Christian; 16 great grandchildren; two aunts; one uncle; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.Mr. Christian was preceded in death by his parents, Hal Lee “Tobe” and Mattie White Christian; his grandparents; a son, Andrei Christian; two grandsons, Keimont and Andrei Christian; and a brother, Ralph Christian.The family will receive friends at a visitation from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Friday, April 8, 2016 at Northwest Church of Christ Chapel, 1141 North Willis Street, just next door to Abilene Funeral Home.Special thanks to Drs. Fred White and Barry Moak, and the medical staff at Abilene Hendrick Medical Center and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas. – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/reporternews/obituary.aspx?pid=179548871#sthash.bW5TE4sn.dpuf

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