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Gene Clements

1916 - 2011
WWII Veteran
Burnet Businessman
County Commissioner
Volunteer Firefighter (1938)

Source:  Burnet Bulletin, 23 Feb 2010

Howard Eugene “Gene” Clements, lifelong resident of Burnet, passed away peacefully on Feb. 20 with loved ones by his side. Born Oct. 8, 1916 Gene was preceded in death by his parents Jake and Eula Clements, three brothers, and first wife Mary Alice.

He is survived by his loving wife of over 28 years, Kathryn and family, Mary Gene and Dale Wepfer of Omaha, Neb., Pam Clements of Austin, sister Benita Neve of Lampasas, Stephen Baker of Austin, Byron and Kyla Baker of Houston, Glenda Baker of Houston, Curtis and Lara Baker of Pflugerville, and Kevin and Denise Baker of Houston; grandchildren: Stacy and Terry Torneten of Harlan, Iowa; Chris and Shaela Wepfer of Omaha; Cheyenne Baker and James Ridge of Kyle; Lauren Creeden of Fort Worth; Cole Baker, Beau and Terri Baker, Blake Baker and Roslyn Jones, Colin Baker, and Cameron Baker, all of Austin; Kaylea Baker and Kainoa Kaaihili of Hawaii; Katie Baker of Nacogdoches; Travis Baker of Houston; and Justin Baker of Biloxi, Miss. Gene’s love for family continues to grow with great grandchildren Eric Howard Torneten, Carly Torneten, Elizabeth Gene Wepfer, Cody Creeden, Grace Creeden and Paige Baker, along with many nieces and nephews.

Gene’s 94 years of life were filled with many accomplishments. After graduating from Burnet High School, Gene began working at the Northington funeral home. As our country became embattled, Gene demonstrated his love and commitment to his country by enlisting in the Army.  As a World War II veteran Gene received the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service during combat operations. Throughout the years he maintained friendships with his Texas Fighting 36th Division. 

Upon honorable discharge from the military, Gene’s desire to serve others and his community continued to grow. His graduation from the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science in Dallas in 1946 began a notable career of over 50 years as a funeral director. Gene began working at Northington Funeral home where he accomplished one of his proudest moments in 1949 when he purchased the funeral home and named it Clements Funeral Home of Burnet.

It was in 1970 when Gene decided to retire and sell his business which is now the Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home in Burnet. With strong roots in Burnet County, Gene’s retirement did not last long as he then began serving as a Burnet County Commissioner for over 12 years. Gene could name every road in Burnet County and was proud to know numerous residents throughout the county.  In addition to his love for helping others, Gene was a lifelong member and Elder of Burnet Presbyterian Church and a proud member of Valley Lodge # 175 A.F. & A.M. for over 50 years, and Ben Hur Shrine in Austin.

Gene’s life can best be summarized by remembering each life is a miracle that changes the world and leaves it a better place than it was before.  His contributions will carry on and will always be remembered by so many who shared in his life.

Visitation will be from 6- 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23 at Clements/Wilcox Funeral Home in Burnet. Services will be Thursday, Feb. 24, at 11 a.m. at Clements/Wilcox Funeral Home with Reverend Susan Liljestrand officiating.  Military honors and a Masonic burial service will follow at Post Mountain Cemetery.

The family would like to thank all the staff of the Oaks Nursing Center. The names of all the employees are too numerous to list, as each demonstrated their compassion and attention to Gene’s comfort. All their efforts will be forever remembered and greatly appreciated. The assistance of Texas Home Hospice, specifically Donna Lauzon, Chris Stover and Mary Miller is also very much appreciated. The family has asked that memorials in memory of Gene should be made to Burnet Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 126, Burnet, Texas, 78611 or to a charity of your choice.

Those named as pallbearers were grandsons, Chris Wepfer, Terry Torneten, Beau Baker, Blake Baker, Cole Baker, Colin Baker, Cameron Baker, Travis Baker and Justin Baker. Honorary pallbearers named were Bobby Owens, O’Dean Hammett, Grady Hammett, and Jimmy Clements.

Friends and family are invited to share thoughts and memories with the family by visiting

Gene Clements was a participant in Burnet County's WWII Oral History Project.  His account of that period of time is on file at the Herman Brown Free Library.

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