CLINE GARY K

WO1 Gary K. Cline died after flight school but did not serve as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam on 11/30/2015 at the age of 77.1 from Cancer
Folly Beach, SC
Flight Class 62-1W
Date of Birth 10/19/1938
Served in the U.S. Army
This information was provided by Sammie Williams

More detail on this person: On November 30, 2015, Commander Gary K. Cline, USN (Ret.), 77, the quintessential raconteur, whose wanderlust and thirty-year military career included sailing nearly every one of the world's oceans and seas, who held court in ports-of-call across the globe, who lived in six countries but chose Folly Beach, SC for his home, has, after a long illness, made his final journey. Born October 19, 1938 in the small mid-west city of Coldwater, Kansas, young Gary was known around town as a mischievous, yet amiable entrepreneur, who loved listening to the exploits of veterans, and dreamed of travel to exotic places. Gary Cline was the son of life-long Coldwater residents Raymond E. and Mary Waneta (Tucker) Cline, and grandson of James M. and Minerva F. (Metzker) Cline and Harvey Monroe and Eva Louise (Cummings) Tucker, all deceased. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, the former Sylvia Hindle of the United Kingdom; sister Rebecca Setterstrom (John) of Emporia, KS; son, Stephen M. Cline (Carol); grandson, Jacob Cline (Brooke); granddaughter, Sydney J. Cline; Godson, Jacob Uriccio; and several nephews and nieces. Gary Cline's remarkable experience of serving in three military branches: Air Force, Army, and Navy- holding 13 ranks from Airman Recruit through Navy Commander-is chronicled in his candid and engaging memoir, "Tours of Duty". After completing one college year with the Air Force National Guard, he enlisted in the Army in 1959. He trained as a helicopter mechanic before selection to flight school. As a Warrant Officer, he flew H-21 cargo helicopters. He was one of four pilots who completed a record 32-day cross-country flight from Corpus Christi, Texas to Fort Richardson, Alaska. After six years with the Army, he graduated from the University of Nebraska, Omaha and subsequently enrolled in US Navy Officer Candidate School. Gary Cline saw duty as navigator aboard the Navy tanker, USS Mispillion, making several deployments to Southeast Asia. His next tour was as Executive Officer aboard the minesweeper USS Woodpecker, home ported in Sasebo, Japan. Following orders took him to Charleston, SC, where he was the Chief Engineer aboard the USS Vesole. His first Command was Captain of the USS Beacon, a patrol gunship home ported in Little Creek, Virginia. The Beacon was deployed to the Caribbean to protect shipping in the vicinity of Cuba. In 1973, he was assigned as an Exchange Officer with the Royal Australian Navy, serving with the Australian Mine Warfare and Patrol Boat Forces, headquartered in Sydney Harbor. After a two-year stateside deployment at the Surface Force Pacific in San Diego, he was given a shore command: Commanding Officer, Military Sealift Command, in Pusan, Korea. Gary Cline was the Operations Officer for Naval Station and Naval Base Guantanamo Bay Cuba, before returning to Charleston for a tour as Chief Staff Officer of the Mobile Mine Assembly Group. He also served in the Office of Defense Representative, Pakistan, attached to the American Embassy in the capital city, Islamabad, during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Pakistan President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq awarded him the "Sitara-I-Imtiaz" (Star of Excellence), the highest medal awarded to foreigners. He is the first US Naval officer to receive this recognition. After completing a distinguished military career, Gary, with Sylvia, established a successful import business. In 2001 they retired, but continued to travel the world, mainly on passenger cruise ships. He excelled at carpentry, making useful items until commandeered by neighborhood children to make toys! He enjoyed Dixieland Jazz and found an interest in antique cars. His first entry at the Charleston British Car Club Day was an Austin Seven, which won 'Best in Show.' Gary Cline had a great regard for the Catholic missionaries he encountered in his travels, particularly the Salesians who operate orphanages around the world. He was impressed with the manner in which they live simply among the people and provide job training for the young adults. In 2006, the Clines entered full communion with the Catholic Church, becoming faithful members of Our Lady of Good Counsel on Folly Beach. For the past 20 years, he endured treatments for several kinds of cancer. Special thanks must be made to the Charleston medical community who cared for him during his multiple procedures. Dr. Milton Costa, his longtime GP, was especially attentive over the years and thought of as a friend. Dr. Arthur Smith and his team, including Tina Bunke at the MUSC pain clinic, made the visits almost 'pleasurable.' Also Dr. Harry Drabkin, Stacy Stewart, and the oncology team at MUSC were equally supportive, as was Dr. Joel Cook in MUSC dermatology. Drs. Lee Leddy, Zeke Walton, and Barrett Willis at MUSC will also be remembered with gratitude. The lab techs and valets at Hollings Cancer Center contributed greatly to making the many visits less stressful, and we thank them all. Gary Cline embodied the American spirit. He was generous, gregarious, pragmatic and prudent. He treasured the memories of his 'old buddies', schoolmates, and now will be spinning yarns with the many friends who are hid with him in 'death's dateless night.' 'To the world he was just one person, but to his family he was the whole world.' The funeral Mass for Commander Gary K. Cline will be held at Our Lady of Good Counsel, 56 Center Street, Folly Beach, SC on Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 11 a.m., followed by a reception at Fr. Kelly Hall, 106 West Hudson, Folly Beach. In lieu of flowers, donations are kindly referred to Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, (OLGC) P.O. Box 1257, Folly Beach, SC 29439; or Salesian Missions, 2 Lefevre Lane, New Rochelle, NY 10801-5710. Visit our guestbook at www.legacy.com/obituaries/ charleston

This information was last updated 05/18/2016

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