Samuel Edward Cline III, 94, of Grand Rapids, Ohio passed away February 16, 2021. Ed was born on October 14, 1926 to the late Samuel & Lucille (Wheeler) Cline Jr. in Holgate, Ohio at home.
Ed is survived by his daughters Lucy (Jerry Carson) Hillsberry, Kristen (Jason) Hogrefe; sons Sam (Kathy) Cline, Eric (Kim) Flora, John (Marisa) Cline, Jason (Brooke) Cline; 17 grandchildren: Eric, Robin, Katie, Cody, Justine, Chase, Grace, Kate, Sophie, Bryndie, Colt, Britton, Rheya, Cole, Athena, Whitney & Cecelia, 10 great grandchildren; special friend Carol Bowers; and brother-in-law Ove Jensen.
Ed was preceded in death by his parents, step-father Jacob Bowmaster, daughter Mary Nalbach, great- granddaughter Victoria Foster, brothers Christopher and Orrel Cline, sisters Frances Herr and Evelyn Jensen, and son-in-laws Charles Hillsberry and William Nalbach.
Ed proudly served his country in World War II in the United States Navy, leaving school at the age of 17 to enlist. He served in the South Pacific and was on Guam and Iwo Jima during the war. He worked at National Cement Products as a truck driver for 46 years, retiring in 1991. Ed loved to go deer hunting and taught many young men to hunt. The week-long hunting camps at his home were a much anticipated event for many throughout the years, especially his sons. He was a long-time member of the Grand Rapids Sportsmen’s Club, the Alva N. Sidle American Legion Post #232 in Grand Rapids, and the VFW. He served on the Grand Rapids Township Fire Department for 39 years. He had been involved with The Applebutter Fest since its inception, dedicating many hours.
Ed wore many hats. He was an auctioneer, rider in rodeos, buyer and seller of all things, owned and operated his own excavating and building moving enterprise with his sons. He loved dancing, playing Euchre, listening to picker’s music, watching his children and then later his grandchildren in all of their many various activities. He has been a staple at school and community events for his children and grandchildren for 50+ years despite his many hours spent working. Ed never met a stranger and he was loved (or at the very least respected) by all who met him. He was a man of integrity, shaped by the hardships in his early years. He lost his father when he was 18 months old which meant his mother had to go to work to support them leaving his sisters at home to raise him. He worked hard for everything he had. What couldn’t be bought, he found a way to make, raise, or grow. He and his siblings learned to use every available resource including gathering coal along the railroad that was thrown off the cars at night to heat their home; saying his mother would say they would freeze to death before they would jump the coal trains and steal.
He began his life in Grand Rapids at the age of 9. He went to work shortly after at the local dairy farm earning a dollar per day plus a quart of milk. He did any odd job that could help support his family, even while caring for his disabled brother at home. This was the beginning of his reputation as one of the hardest working men around and becoming what people would come to refer to as an institution of Grand Rapids. You can’t drive a block through Grand Rapids without seeing something that Ed has worked on, moved, donated, or influenced in some way. From one end of town to the other, be it the information booth by the tracks or the addition to the old fire house, he had a hand in it all.
Ed was a lover of life, man of men, friend to all, giver of self, and a legend that will never be forgotten.
He loved his family very much and will be greatly missed by everyone.
Visitation for Ed will be held on Friday, February 19, 2021 from 3:00 – 7:00 PM with a Last Alarm Service at 7:00 PM at the Hanneman Funeral Home, 24084 W. Second Street, Grand Rapids, Ohio 43522. Funeral Services for Ed will be held on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 11:00 AM at the funeral home.
Memorial Contributions in Ed’s honor may be gifted to either the Alva N. Sidle American Legion Post #232, or the Grand Rapids Township Fire & Rescue Department.
Hanneman Funeral Home-Grand Rapids is honored to serve Ed’s family and encourage those to share a fond memory or condolence by visiting www.hannemanfuneralhomes.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Samuel Edward Cline III, please visit our floral store.