Harry Sykes Cline died peacefully September 7, 2023. He was born August 14,1940 in Camden, South Carolina to Joseph Frederick Cline and Catherine Sykes Cline. The family moved to Stony Point, North Carolina in 1949.
Harry earned his Eagle Scout at age 15 and graduated from Stony Point High School in 1958. He attended Davidson College where he was the catcher on Davidson’s baseball team. He was named MVP in 1962 and was selected first team all-conference every year. He remained close to his teammates for the remainder of his life. He received the ROTC Distinguished Military Student Award, was the President of Sigma Chi fraternity and was VP of Davidson’s senior class. While at Davidson, Harry met Janie McMullen from Clearwater, Florida on a blind date. Janie was Davidson’s Sweetheart of Sigma Chi in 1962 and Harry’s fiance in 1965. After graduating from law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Harry married Janie on his 25th birthday in 1965. She designed and created his gold wedding band by hand when she was a counselor at Camp Merrie Woode that summer.
The couple moved to Thomasville, North Carolina where Harry practiced law. Daughter Catherine Tweed Cline was born in 1967 before Harry left for Vietnam. Harry was a Captain in the 131st Aviation Company, US Army, and was awarded two bronze stars. After the war, the family lived in Asheville where Harry resumed his law practice and their son Harry Sykes Cline, Jr. (Skip) was born in 1969. They moved to Clearwater in 1971 when Harry joined McMullen, Everett, Logan, Marquardt & Cline where he practiced real estate and estate planning law. The firm merged with Macfarlane Ferguson in 1993 becoming McFarlane Ferguson & McMullen. Harry was a member of the firm for the remainder of his career and served as its Chairman in 2006 and 2007.
Community and charitable involvement were lifelong priorities for Harry. He served on the boards of the Greater Clearwater Chamber of Commerce, the United Way, The ARC Tampa Bay, Berkeley Preparatory School and the First National Bank of Clearwater. Harry was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension and served on its Vestry. He was a member of the Clearwater Rotary Club, its President 1984-1985 and a Paul Harris Fellow. Harry was involved with the Florida Gulf Coast Art Center and served as President of its board in 1976 and 1986. He was a member of the Belleair Country Club, Carlouel Yacht Club (Commodore 1993), Casado Club, Old Edwards Club, Pelican Golf Club and Privateers.
Harry had a wide range of hobbies including painting with oils and watercolors, carving wooden duck decoys and beekeeping. The bees ’culture and their impact on Janie’s garden fascinated him. He harvested honey and bottled it in jars with labels he drew for Christmas presents. Harry loved the competition and camaraderie of golf and tennis and enjoyed spending time on the water with family and friends. Harry adored his three grandchildren and taught them baseball, golf, painting and hearts. His grandchildren cherished their time together including countless “spend the nights for no reason.”
Harry weathered strokes and the loss of his beloved Janie in 2020 but his courage, love of people and humor endured. He was truly grateful for Joann Dohme, Jesse Hallman, Shay McAuley, Shawnda Meeks, Jackie Richo, Kayla Seib, Shayna Suljic, Darlene Thomas, and Shaneka White. Teresa Kelly and Janica Van Brocklin also played a key role in his health and happiness.
Harry was predeceased by his wife and son, his parents and his brother Rick Cline. He is survived by his daughter Tweed Cline
Eckhard (Rick) and their children Carson, Sykes and Skip; his nieces Cindy Cline Reid, Anne Marie Cline Bergamini and nephew David Cline.
A memorial service is scheduled for 4 p.m., December 19 at Episcopal Church of the Ascension, 701 Orange Avenue, Clearwater, Florida. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Davidson College, the Skip Cline Young Leadership Society at Morton Plant Hospital or the charity of one’s choice.