Richard E. Kline, 93, of Lewisburg, was carried into the waiting arms of his Lord and Savior on Thursday, May 26, 2016, at RiverWoods, Lewisburg.
He was born March 7, 1923, in McClure, a son of the late Claire David and Vera (Weader) Kline-Clare. On Feb. 15, 1946, he married the former Bonnie M. Hobbs in Lebanon, Tenn., and they celebrated 68 years of marriage before her death on Oct. 15, 2014.
Richard was valedictorian of the 1941 class of McClure High School. He served honorably in the Army during World War II achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant with the Battery B 505th Coast Artillery Battalion where he saw action in the Pacific Theater in Okinawa, Japan. He received the Good Conduct Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with 1 Bronze Star, and the World War II Victory Medal. He also achieved Expert Marksmanship badges in the M1 Rifle and 03 Rifle. The effects of the war would leave a lifelong impression on Richard physically, having suffered a back injury which caused him to live with chronic pain and limited mobility. After his discharge from the Army, he received his bachelor's degree in business education from Bloomsburg University in 1950, followed by his MBA from Bucknell University.
Richard began his career in education teaching 6th grade in the Mifflinburg School District. In 1954, he began teaching in the MiddWest School District where he taught business and commercial subjects, retiring in 1980.
A gifted athlete who played soccer, basketball, and baseball throughout his high school years and an avid sports fan, he passed on his love for sports by coaching baseball on almost every level from Little League to teener ball as well as leading the high school girls basketball teams to several district championships. He was a very respected, much loved, teacher, coach, and mentor to his students and their families.
Richard was a former member of Mount Bethel United Church of Christ, McClure and most recently attended Browns United Methodist Church, Richfield.
He enjoyed making bird houses and feeders, an expression of his great love for the outdoors and wildlife. He enjoyed hunting and regaled every nearby listener with rich stories of his grand adventures chasing the elusive whitetail deer. Richard was mechanically minded and could always be found tinkering and fixing just about any broken electrical appliance or gadget around. Richard was also a very talented musician, a gift he passed on to his grandchildren. A self-taught guitarist, he grew up playing the guitar and singing on the local WKOK radio station with his two sisters, Gladys and Erma, as the Kline Trio in the 1930s. One of his favorite pastimes was "jamming" with several of his buddies in the garage for hours on end.
Surviving are four daughters and three sons-in-law, Lynne and Dr. William Leipold, of Enosburg Falls, Vt., Marlene Kline, of New Milford, Conn., Cheryl and Dr. Alan Rothenberg, of Ivins, Utah, and Crystal and Paul King, of Milton; two brothers and sisters-in-law, Glen E. and Charlotte Kline and Norman E. and Myrletta Kline, all of McClure; seven grandchildren, Susan Johnson and husband, Michael; Laura Leipold, Rachel and Andrea Rothenberg; Katelyn Ross and husband Cody, and Ryan and Bailey King; two great-grandchildren, Mikayla and Justin Johnson; a niece, Kay Goodwin, of McClure, with whom he was especially close, along with other nieces and nephews.
In addition to his wife and parents, he was predeceased by one brother, Edgar Kline; and two sisters, Gladys Snyder-Schlaline and Erma Goss.
Friends will be received from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 29, at Mount Bethel UCC, 205 W. Specht St., McClure, followed by a memorial service at 11, with the Rev. John D'Esterhazy, officiating.
Burial with full military honors will follow in McClure Union Cemetery.
The family suggests memorial contributions in Richard's memory be made to the following: Evangelical Hospice, One Hospital Drive, Lewisburg, PA 17837; Northumberland Christian School, 351 Fifth St., Northumberland, PA 17857 (online donations may be made at www.norrychristian.net); or Disabled Veterans online at https://www.dav.org/.
The family is being assisted by Cronrath-Grenoble Funeral Home, 106 S. Second St., Lewisburg.
Expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.cronrathgrenoblefuneralhome.com.
Published on May 31, 2016