Section: News

Kenyon mourns beloved friend and mechanic Russell Cline

Russell Cline, a long-time mechanic at Kenyon, died unexpectedly on Jan. 12. He was 62. 

Born in Mount Vernon, Cline graduated from Mount Vernon High School and earned an associate degree in automotive technology before he started working at Kenyon in 1996. On the Hill, he maintained vehicles in the College’s fleet, as well as repairing and maintaining athletic equipment and grounds. Cline enjoyed motorcycles, fishing and playing chess. He liked watching war and western movies as well as collecting John Wayne memorabilia. 

As a colleague, Cline was appreciated for his kindness and hard work. Manager of Technical Trades David Boughter, a friend of Cline’s, told David Hoyt ’14, “Russell had an outstanding quality: He never talked bad or put anyone down. His sense of humor could come out of nowhere and be the perfect ice breaker for tough situations. His calm, even-tempered personality was easy and a joy to talk to.”

He went on: “Kenyon College was blessed with Russell’s dedication, extreme talent and great attitude. He will be missed, and I am proud and honored to call him my friend.” 

In the College’s announcement, many of Cline’s colleagues have shared their remembrances of him. Painter Ward Stover shared his favorite funny memory of his friend. “Russell’s choice of music was a channel that played ’80s-’90s songs. I asked him about one particular song that was playing,” he said. “Tools in hand, unlit Swisher in his mouth, a normally staid Russell did a little ‘moon walk’ with a smile. The funniest thing I had ever seen Russell do.”

Cline is survived by his children, Joseph, Joshua, Jessica, Clinton and Amelia; his grandchildren Austin and Allison; siblings Morgan, Neil and Treasa; his sister-in-law Jackie and his mother Jean. 


Comments for this article have closed. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor for publication, please email us at