(ABILENE, TX) – A local legend who’s renowned for his barbecue has passed away, leaving a legacy of good times and great food behind.

Harold Christian, founder of Harold’s Pit Bar-Be-Q formerly located on Walnut Street, passed away Sunday night, according to Abilene City Councilman Anthony Williams who has been in contact with the family over the last week. 

Several members of the Abilene community are using social media to show the impact this beloved man had on the history and character of their town. The following are just a few of the several posts offering kind words to Harold’s family and memory:

“We lost a great man. I’ve had the privilege of knowing this man my whole life. He was and will always be an inspiration to all of us.”

“An Abilene icon. And more important, a wonderful human being. Harold is singing “Amazing Grace” with the angels today.”

“Remembering Harold Christian who died today & missing Harold’s BBQ a little more than usual.”

“Today, we pray for the family and loved ones (an entire community) of Harold Christian. Good BBQ. Great Man.”

Harold closed his restaurant in 2011 after suffering health complications. He had a very successful career in the barbecue business that began in 1956. 

His wife, children, and other family members worked at the restaurant before it closed, and his niece Yvette Williams and son Russell Christian open a booth called Mama Sally’s at the West Texas Fair and Rodeo each year to give the Key City a taste of the legendary barbecue Christian served for over fifty years.