Cover photo for Russell M. Cline's Obituary
Russell M. Cline Profile Photo
1933 Russell 2021

Russell M. Cline

October 19, 1933 — November 11, 2021


Russell M. Cline, 88, of Lancaster, passed away peacefully on November 11, 2021.  He was born on October 19, 1933 in Geneva, Indiana to John and Christine Cline.  He grew up on a farm outside of Marysville, Ohio and graduated from Chuckery-Darby High School in 1951. Russ enlisted in the Navy for 3 years during the Korean War.

He had a distinguished career with the Kroger Company, spanning 45 years. Russ was well known for his dedication to his customers and commitment to community service through his employer.

Russ was a member of the First United Methodist church for over 50 years and a past president of the Board of Trustees. He was also a former president of the Fairfield County United Way and an original supporter of The Lancaster Festival who was instrumental in its founding.

Russ spent his retirement years helping out his favorite organization, the Lancaster Lions Club. He had been a member for over 50 years and also a past president. He enjoyed playing frequently with his golf buddies at Pine Hills, loved to read, and enjoyed taking care of his yard.

He had been an avid Cincinnati Reds fan since he began listening to them on the radio in the 1940s and he also loved the OSU Buckeyes and Cleveland Browns. Russ was the ultimate sports fan.

Russ is survived by Sarah, his wonderful wife of 67 years; two of his children, Debbie (Butch) Jenkins of Hilliard, Ohio and Darrin of Hobart, Indiana; three grandchildren, Justin Jenkins (Julie), Courtney (Ryan) Minga, and Chanelle Cline.  He also leaves behind four precious great-grandsons: Noah, Grayson, and Mason Jenkins and Luke Minga. He was preceded in death by his son Brian.

Calling hours will be at the Frank E. Smith Funeral Home, 405 N. Columbus St., on Monday, Nov. 15 from 4:00 to 7:00PM.  The funeral service will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 163 E. Wheeling St., on Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 10:30AM.  A private graveside ceremony will be held following the services at Maple Grove Cemetery.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Fairfield County Foundation (162 E. Main St., Lancaster, OH 43130) designated towards the R. Brian Cline Memorial Engineering Scholarship Fund or the First United Methodist Church (163 E. Wheeling St., Lancaster, OH 43130). Online condolences can be made at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Russell M. Cline, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, November 15, 2021

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

First United Methodist Church (Marysville, Ohio, Pine Hills, St, Maple Grove Cemetery, Lancaster)

, Lancaster, OH 43130

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