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Remembering John Cline
Compiled by Cassie Tarpley
SHELBY — John Cline “was one of Cleveland County’s leading citizens and his impact on his community will be felt for decades to come,” Congressman Patrick McHenry said Tuesday.
“I will be forever grateful for the honor of having known John. He was a man who cherished faith, family and his community. In Cleveland County’s long history of distinguished citizens, John Cline ranks among one of the greats.”
McHenry and many others praised Cline, who died late Monday night at age 87.
Here’s what they said:
“John was a World War II veteran who volunteered his time to serve on my Military Advisory Committee. He was a key advisor to me on my nominations to service academies and other military matters.
“During my first campaign for Congress, everyone told me I needed to know John Cline if I wanted to win in Cleveland County. They were right, and I’m proud to say that I not only knew John, but counted him as a dear friend.
“John could be called the ‘Grandfather of the Cleveland County Republican Party,’ and any Republican that was ever elected in the county owes a debt of gratitude to John Cline for laying the groundwork to make future successes possible.
Congressman Patrick McHenry
“The thing I remember most about John — once he got an idea, he never let it drop. He just knew how to bring people together to get it done. John was a very good man.”
Former Cleveland County Commissioner Willie McIntosh
“I came to the district in September 1996 and I didn’t know anything. He was right there to help me.
“John was from the old school and had hard-core values. That was the whole thing he instilled into the district … he always did what was best for the District. John was stern but John was fair and he expected a lot in return.”
Cleveland County Sanitary District General Manager Butch Smith
“John was a man that had more passion for a reservoir in upper Cleveland than almost anyone and as much as anyone … and was helpful during the drought and water crisis of 2002.
“He was a good old country gentleman, a witty fellow and he will be missed.”
Former Shelby Mayor Mike Philbeck
“Of course, I could write a book about such a dear friend to the party. John served his community with distinction and honor. John was definitely Mr. Republican.
“I have often sought John’s advice throughout the years on Republican and campaign issues. I will always remember him and will strive to honor his legacy.”
Cleveland County Republican Party Chairman J. Wayne King II
“John was also a farmer and a tremendous advocate for agriculture in North Carolina. Additionally, his work as chairman of the Cleveland County Sanitary District Board was dedicated to expanding reliable access to water.
“He was instrumental in the creation of Moss Lake in Kings Mountain and had worked for the past several years on plans for a reservoir to serve the northern part of the county. Once completed, I can think of no more appropriate name for this project than ‘John Cline Lake.’”
Congressman Patrick McHenry
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