Mary Ellen Kirby Cline

August 28, 1928April 8, 2018

Beloved wife, mother and grandmother Mary Ellen Kirby Cline, of Statesville, passed away 4/8/2018 at the age of 89. Born 8/28/1928 to the late William Lester and Kittie Mae Poarch Kirby in Caldwell County, NC, she graduated in 1945 from Granite Falls High School. She then attended business and secretarial college in Hickory, NC. She met her future husband David Ray Cline of Statesville, NC in early 1948 during a community snowball fight while he was visiting family in Granite Falls. Having known each other only four months, they married 6/19/1948 and have been inseparable for almost 70 years. Moving to Statesville following her marriage, Mary worked in the secretarial field and became Statesville High School Secretary. She later became private secretary to K. C. Eller at Interstate Equipment Co. where she continued to work until shortly after his death. She then became a legal secretary, working for several local attorneys as well as the Iredell County Clerk of Court. She retired in 2004 at the age of 75 from Lewis & Patterson law firm. Mary performed many jobs and held various positions as an active member of her church through the years, including singing in the church choir. She worked tirelessly with the Chapel Hill United Methodist Women in many capacities, and always enjoyed the preparation and serving of the semi-annual chicken pie suppers for which they were well known in the community. She also participated in several community social and service organizations. While a member of the I.O.O.F. Sarah Rebekah Lodge, she and close friend Joycelyn Walden served as counselors and advisors for the Theta Rho young women’s group. Mary formed many life-long friendships while a member of the Llederi Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association, and was honored to have been chosen a Woman of the Year by the group. Always interested in activities in the Wayside community where she lived, she was a member of the Wayside VFD Ladies Auxiliary for many years. Her husband, a WWII veteran, is a member of Hurst Turner American Legion Post 65 and Mary participated as a member of the Ladies Auxiliary there as well. Mary enjoyed reading, basket making and other crafts, and traveling both domestically and abroad. Her most joyous times, however, were those spent with her husband and family. She was a wonderful mother and a doting grandmother, she and her husband planning and enjoying week-long summer travel adventures with them when their grandchildren were young. A trip to the United Kingdom with her daughter and granddaughter was a special and memorable event for Mary. Her family is thrilled that she experienced the more recent addition of two great-grandsons to the family, and that these children had the opportunity to enjoy being spoiled by their great-grandmother. In addition to her parents, Mary was predeceased by her son David Michael Cline, sister Lola Mae (Sis) Pennell, brother-in-law S.A. McCrary, brother and sister-in-law Hugh and Marvelanne Kirby, brother Carroll Kirby, brother-in-law Lonnie Bumgarner, brothers- and sisters-in-law Charles and Lillian Cline, Wayne and Betty Cline Pope, Glenn and Carolita Summers Cline, Raymond Little, niece Sharon Cline Lail, and nephew Steve Cline. In addition to her husband, surviving are her daughter Gaye Cline-Schooler and son-in-law Richard, daughter-in-law Patricia Hearn Cline, grandchildren Ashly Cline Carper and husband Matt, David Michael Cline, Jr. and wife Andrea (Andi), and Adam Hearn Cline, great-grandsons Aiden Michael Carper and Deklyn Myers Cline, sister Billie Sue Kirby Bumgarner, sisters-in-law Helen Cline Little, Pauline (Polly) Cline Hollar and Glenda Kirby McLaughlan, and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family members. A celebration of Mary’s life will be held Saturday, April 14, 2018, at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, 109 Chapel Hill Lane, Statesville, NC. Services are being provided to the family by Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home. Mary will lie in state in the church sanctuary from 11:00 a.m. until noon, and the family will be available in the church Fellowship Hall during this time. The funeral service will begin at 12:00 noon in the sanctuary. Interment at Iredell Memorial Park, Highway 21 South, Statesville, will follow the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Gordon Hospice House at 2341 Simonton Rd., Statesville, NC 28625 or to Chapel Hill United Methodist Church.

Online condolences can be sent to the family at

Bunch-Johnson Funeral is honored to be serving the Cline Family.


  • Gordon Hospice House
  • Chapel Hill United Methodist Church


  • Visitation Saturday, April 14, 2018
  • Funeral Service Saturday, April 14, 2018

Mary Ellen Kirby Cline

have a memory or condolence to add?

Larry Gregory

April 14, 2018

Mary was a sweet lady who was their to help my sister when she became disabled. She also was a good friend to my parents and always asked about all of them when we spoke. She will be missed. I ask God to give the family comfort and peace during this time.

Luda Kirby Richards

April 13, 2018

David and family, So sad to hear of Mary Ellen's passing. Haven't seen her in years but still remember her and her sweet smile. My dad was Atlas Kirby who was her 1st cousin. I will always remember when she came up to Granite for funerals and I saw her she would always say !Come See Me" which I never got around to doing. Love and sympathy to you and your family.

Gordon and Connie French

April 13, 2018

As ones who considered Mary a friend, Connie and I though truly saddened at her passing, rejoice in knowing of her deep and abiding faith and that she has completed her race and is now savoring the rewards. We knew Mary through the USS Enoree Reunion Association and in my mind's eye, I can see her at our Hospitality Room food table, ensuring all was in order. Sharing a meal with them at our banquets was always a treat and she and Connie became close. I have always referred to Mary as the Epitome of a
Southern Lady and will never forget her smile and her greetings when on our first contact at a reunion which not only included that smile, but a poke in my belly with an index finger. Knowing Mary has been a blessing for Connie and I and we wish to express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family which she so dearly loved.

Gordon and Connie french

USS ENOREE AO-69 Reunion Association

April 13, 2018

On behalf of the Shipmates, Families and Friends of the USS Enoree AO-69 Reunion Association, I express our Sympathies and Sorrows on Mary's passing. She and her shipmate husband David were an important part of our Assn's activities for many years and though health prevented their attendance lately, they were in our minds. Mary, known to most as the epitome of a Southern Lady with a seemingly permanent smile on her lips, was a friend to all and a stranger to none. She possessed a deep and abiding faith and was very active in her Church and other groups. Her love for her family was evident and we, as an association especially desire that we stand with them in this time of sorrow. I include a snapshot taken on their wedding day.

Gordon French
Chaplain, USS Enoree AO-69 Reunion Assn

Carol Shaw-Crouse

April 12, 2018

Gaye and Mr Cline - I'm so very sorry for your loss. I have many very fond memories from when I spent the night at your house as a child . Gaye, as you know, you and I went to Wayside Elementary and Troutman Middle together. We had so many fun times back then. Your family, including Mike, treated me like family. I think of those times often.
May GOD bless you all and give you comfort and strength.

Love and Prayers,
Carol Shaw-Crouse