Horace Lee Cline, Jr., age 96, passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Cave Spring on Thursday, August 20. Mr. Cline was born in Loudon, Tennessee, on November 3, 1923, son of Horace Lee Cline, Sr. and Sallie Thomas Cline. Orphaned at a young age, Mr. Cline lived with different relatives in Tennessee for several years, until his Aunt Esther Cline Jennings moved to Rome with her husband Frank Jennings. In Rome they learned about Berry School, where students could work their way through for room and board, and so at age fifteen, young Horace Cline moved to Georgia and became a boarding student at Berry School. This opportunity completely changed the course of Mr. Cline’s life. During his years at Berry, he worked at many different jobs, including being the first one up each morning to shovel coal to warm up the Administrative offices. The job he remembered most fondly was a job assigned to him by Miss Martha Berry herself, that of greeting guests arriving at Berry at the Gate of Opportunity. With his outgoing personality and love of people, he was a perfect fit for that job. Mr. Cline made many lifelong friends in his days at Berry, and grew to consider Georgia as his home. One of the biggest impacts on his life were his years serving the country he loved in World War II. Sergeant Horace Cline was in the United States Army, the 23rd Infantry Division, more commonly known as the Americal Division, stationed in the South Pacific. He spent a great deal of time on the islands of Fiji and New Caledonia, and always said the most beautiful full moons he ever saw were while he was stationed in that area. Their division was set to be among those who would make the beachhead in Japan. At the age of 21, his chaplain told the men of his division, “Boys, if you have any goodbyes to say, you need to say them now, because you aren’t likely to make it back home alive.” He always credited President Harry Truman with saving his life and those of countless other young American men, by making the decision to use atomic bombs, and end the war without invading the Japanese Home Islands. He was so proud of the time he spent serving his country, and was never happier than when sharing the great stories of heroism and heartbreak that he experienced in those years. Every year on December 13, he celebrated the day he was discharged in 1945, and came home to Georgia just in time for Christmas. He often would talk about the song that was so popular with the soldiers in those days, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Upon his return from World War II, his life changed again when he started to college at the University of Georgia, and became a Bulldog for life. His love of the Dawgs and especially football in the fall was just one of the many legacies he passed to his entire family, and it was at UGA that he met and married the love of his life, Jacqueline (Jackie) Norton. They met at a watermelon cutting, and it was love at first sight; they married just a few months later. They were completely devoted to each other for their nearly sixty-five years of marriage, and were truly a match made in heaven. Until her death in 2014, they were rarely apart, always holding hands and an inspiration to all who knew them. Mr. Cline graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering, and then from the Southern College of Pharmacy (now Mercer), with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy. For over fifty years, the Clines owned and operated Cline Pharmacy in Cave Spring. Many of their customers recall how, in the days before 24 hour pharmacies, the Clines would come open the drugstore in the middle of the night to get medicine for a sick child. If the parents were short on cash, that was alright; Cline Pharmacy never turned away a family who had a need. Additionally, Mr. Cline was a partner in the Cline and Lindsey Building Supply Company and the Cline and Lindsey Construction Company. He also helped to introduce cable television to the Cave Spring area through his involvement in the Cave Spring Cable Company. Mr. Cline loved his community and was involved in many other areas of service that brought financial freedom, education, bridges and roads to Floyd County. He was one of the founders and trustees of the Bank of Cave Spring, later to become the United Community Bank. Having a local bank helped the people of Cave Spring in many ways, including making it possible for them to finance homes of their own. He was elected to the Floyd County Board of Commissioners, serving as Chairman from 1969- 1972. He loved to tell people that he signed the check that bought the property where Floyd Junior College, now Georgia Highlands College, is located. On any Sunday afternoon drive, Mr. Cline would point out country roads and bridges that were paved or built during his years of service. He never failed to ask with pride when visitors would stop by, “What do you think of our little town?” He loved his adopted home and especially the people who lived here. Mr. Cline was a devoted member of the First Baptist Church of Cave Spring, serving for many years as a Deacon, as the Chairman of the Finance Committee and as a member of countless other church committees. He loved to sing the old hymns, and while his wife Jackie would often elbow him not to sing so loud, he loved making a joyful noise, especially to songs such as “I’ll Fly Away” and “Amazing Grace.” If you came into his drugstore, you could be assured that you would leave, not only with your prescription, but also with an invitation to come to church on Sunday. Many Sunday mornings he stood on the front porch of the church, waiting to greet the families he had invited. Even during the days of COVID-19, Mr. Cline did his best to watch the morning worship service on the internet and check in on members who were sick or had lost loved ones. He always put others before himself and lived his life in a way that was a true example of Christ’s love to his family and friends. He shared with everyone, “The Lord’s been good to me,” and he wanted everyone to know the Lord as he did. His faith and his Christian example were an inspiration to all. In addition to his parents and his sister Alma Cline Williams, he was preceded in death by his beloved wife Jackie on February 27, 2014. Mr. Cline was so very proud of his family, and never missed an opportunity to tell you all about them. He is survived by his daughter, Christa Cline Jackson (Charles) of Cave Spring, and his son Dr. Horace Lee Cline III (Vickie) of Rome. Mr. Cline was especially devoted to his grandchildren, who early on gave him the nickname “Dandy,” a name he was affectionately called by many others who knew him. He had five grandsons, Dr. Charles F. Jackson III (Bethany); Dr. Cline Jackson (Jessica); Chris Jackson (Catherine) all of Rome; Cleve Jackson (Emilia) of Cave Spring; and Zach Cline of Rome; and two granddaughters, Sarah Beth Cline and Jacqueline Cline of Rome. Dandy loved and adored his twelve great grandchildren, eight girls and four boys, who were the light of his life. A private funeral service for Mr. Cline was held on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 PM at First Baptist Church of Cave Spring, with Pastor Jarrod Kinsey officiating. It was followed by graveside services at the Cline family plot at Cave Spring Cemetery with full military honors provided by the Honor Guard of the Shanklin-Attaway Post 5 of the American Legion. The funeral was live-streamed on https://facebook.com/FirstBaptistCaveSpring/ and friends were invited to join at home in watching and celebrating Dandy’s life. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the First Baptist Church of Cave Spring or Saint Mary’s Catholic School.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Horace Lee Cline, Jr. 96, please visit our floral store.