Ethel's Story

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WEST UNION, Ill. - Ethel Marie Cline, 95, of West Union, died at 11:55 p.m. (EST), Sunday, July 30, 2017, at Union Hospital in Terre Haute, Ind., following a fall just three weeks before her 96th birthday. She was born Aug. 20, 1921, in Export, Pa., the daughter of Wilson and Grace (Hill) Cline, both of whom preceded her in death. She was also preceded in death by her sister, Sylvia.
She is survived by her daughters, Julene and Ken Shaffner of West Union, Trinka Porrata of Mesa, Ariz.; her grandchildren, Tammy and Kevin Morrison, Chris Shaffner and friend Anita Beck, Todd and Terisa Shaffner; her great-grandson, Blake Shaffner; her step-great-grandchildren, Jason Butler, Amanda Scott, Tiffany Schiver, and Levi Powers; five step-great-great-grandchildren; her brother, John Cline of Iowa; her sister, Betty Sauers of Pennsylvania; special nieces, Vickie O'Rourke and Donna Lindley; as well as many other nieces and nephews.
In 1943, patriotism was high in America, and this quiet country lady joined the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, which later became the Women's Army Corps. While in the military, she worked in payroll, issuing back pay to those returning from overseas. There, she met a handsome young officer named Bob Cline from Illinois. He had the same last name, but was not related to Ethel, and they soon dated and married.
Ethel was honorably discharged in 1945, having earned the Good Conduct Medal and the Women's Army Corps Medal. Her war time service profoundly affected her life, and she was faithful to the West Union American Legion Post 1130 for 70 years. She was a founder and charter member of the West Union Auxiliary, where she served as president for 55 years. She took part in all Legion activities, and was also a Legion Historian. The poppy sales for Vets was one of her favorite projects. She was also a faithful member of the West Union Christian Church and the former West Union Ruritan, which is now the West Union Community Club.
Ethel worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 43 years. She started in the West Union office in 1950, and went on to Marshall in 1964, before retiring in 1989. She started working for the Prust-Hosch Funeral Home in West Union 50 years ago, doing all sorts of duties, but was especially well-known as a greeter. When Goodwine Funeral Homes purchased the business, Ethel was 87 years old, but the Goodwine family graciously asked her to stay on, and visitors always looked for her.
With assistance from her granddaughter, Tammy, her daughter, Julene, and neighbor, Diane (Hosch) Wyman (whom Ethel considered a daughter), she was able to stay home until the end of her life. Roy Cork often took her to church, John McCammon brought her mail to her and was actually who found her after her fall, and Marva Hirter had lunch with her twice a month. The late Larry Morecraft was one of her favorite people who worked at the funeral home and visited her every Tuesday, a tradition that his wife Katherine continued. These people added value to her life, and she looked forward to these weekly traditions. Ethel was the matriarch of the entire West Union community, and we will never be able to forget the quiet impact she's had on us.
A time of visitation will be held from 12 noon -3 p.m. CDT on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, at the Prust-Hosch Funeral Home, in West Union. Graveside services will immediately follow and will be held at the Harrison Cemetery. Pastor Billie Ray Ulrey will officiate the service, and military services will also be held at the cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the West Union Community Club, to the West Union Park, or to the West Union American Legion. Memorial envelopes will be available at the funeral home. For more information, or to share a memory or condolence online, please visit:
Published on August 1, 2017
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