Obituary for William Merle Kline Jr.
William Merle “Bill” Kline, Jr., 85, died at Lancaster General Hospital Tuesday, May 30, 2017, following complications from heart surgery. Bill was born May 26, 1932 in Washington, DC, the only child of the late Evelyn Palmer Doyle Kline and William Merle Kline, Sr. The family lived in Bethesda, MD, and Bill graduated from Bethesda Chevy Chase High School and the University of Maryland in College Park, where he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and where he met his wife of more than 61 years, Annette McLaury Kline. The two were married on June 18, 1955 and raised four children in Rockville, MD. They then moved to Seabrook Island, SC, in 1991 and settled in Manheim 12 years ago.
After graduation from the University of Maryland and Air Force ROTC, Bill was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and was assigned to the 456th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Castle AFB, CA. During his service, Captain Kline was rated in the F-86 D/L and the F-102 Delta Dagger, America’s first Supersonic Interceptor. Bill continued his service with the USAF Reserve until his honorable discharge in October 1965.
For more than 30 years, Bill was an aeronautical engineer with Vitro Corporation, later Automation Industries, Inc., in Silver Spring, MD, where he worked on the Polaris Missile project. He was a gifted technical writer, respected leader with the Boy Scouts, an accomplished framer, award-winning cross-stitcher, and was an active member and served on the Vestry of the Church of Our Saviour on Johns Island, SC. In Manheim, Bill worked at Manheim Auto Auction, enjoyed volunteering at Pleasant View Retirement Community, and was an active member of St. Edward’s Episcopal Church in Lancaster.
Bill was predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Annette McLaury Kline, and is survived by their four children William M. “Tripp” Kline, III (Suzanne Ewing) of Washington, PA; Kurt F. Kline (Michele) of Enterprise, AL; Laury E. Poland of Burdett, NY; Kimberly A. Schwartz (Mark) of Petoskey, MI; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, August 26 at 11:30 a.m. at St. Edward’s Episcopal Church, 2453 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster. The family will receive friends at the church from 10:30 a.m. until the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Edward’s Episcopal Church, 2453 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster, PA 17601. To express a condolence with the family or for additional information, visit www.spencefuneralservices.com.