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‘I'm going to miss him’: People of Bell County mourning loss of Clem Mikeska

Posted at 5:35 PM, Apr 19, 2024

BELL COUNTY, Texas — Clem Mikeska started Clem Mikeska's Pit Barbecue and Catering and Steakhouse' 59 years ago, growing to three locations across Central Texas but this past Sunday, Clem, 94, passed away peacefully at his home.

There are billboards, 'Thank You' posts on Facebook and even black ribbons in remembrance of the loving father, grandfather and friend.

If you're connected to the Temple and Bell County communities, it's hard not to see something about Clem.

"He was a great person. I'm gonna miss him very much" said John Potts. He is the Bell County Youth Fair's General Superintendent and a long time friend of Clems.

He tells me Clem was a major driving force behind getting the expo center built so the youth fair can be held there and Clem also helped provide meals and entertainment to the kids each year.

"He's just so great with the kids. It just rolled off on you."

For thirty years, Clem bought the Grand Champion steer from the fair, with the money funding scholarships for students.

Those memories captured in photos hanging in his Temple restaurant.

"He loved kids — let me just say that" said Melissa Long.

She has worked at the restaurant for ten years and says employees and customers miss him greatly.

"Makes me tear-eyed, choking up just thinking about him," Long added.

Mikeska's funeral will be held on Monday.

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