Chapter 6: A Move to California

The Doctor’s Orders

Doctors told Russel that he would be more comfortable in a warmer winter climate so he and Mabel began exploring locations for a new home. They were looking for a retirement location that promised a favorable climate. It was unstated but the search had a more urgent meaning. Russel knew that his lifetime was limited. Mabel needed to live in a safe and comfortable environment. She needed to be self-sufficient without driving a car. She needed a community where she could easily make friends. They discovered an adult community (no resident under the age of 18, and at least one member of the couple 55 years old) under construction at Seal Beach California, just south of Los Angeles. It seemed perfect for their needs.

Leisure World

Leisure World was a gated community of five thousand people. Passing the entry gate required an invitation of a resident. A shopping center was just outside the main gate, complete with supermarket, dress shops, gift shops, banks and business offices. Here also was located a bus station providing transportation to anywhere one might wish to go. The Clines purchased a two-bedroom apartment in the spring, returning to Lind for the summer to arrange their move. They had few pieces of furniture that would fit into their new smaller home. The dining set was sold to Paul and Esther Hunt while living room pieces were left behind. The office furniture and a bedroom set went into the moving van for the trip to california. The beautiful house on the hill, their home for just thirteen years, was sold.

They moved into their California home in October 1963. The neighbor from two doors away came to greet them, saying “Welcome to Leisure World! My name is Bob Cline.” What a good laugh the two men had. It wasn’t long, however, till they began to wonder if their relationship might be more than a common last name. Russel’s father had come west from Indiana. Bob Cline had just moved to California from Indiana. They were given little time to explore the possibility.

  • Churches
  • Friends
  • Travel     Travel companion
  • Death burial funeral Spokane headstone photo
  • Health
  • Parkinsons
  • Heart attacks / Panic attack hospital recovery
  • Santa Barbara
  • Stay stay2 stay3
  • Memorial
Mabel & Russel 63 Modif
Mable and Russel at Leisure World home.

Leisure World employed its own medical staff, and when Russel presented them with his records, they made an appointment with the University of California Medical School, saying that advancements were so rapid in bypass surgery there were many new options. The appointment was for January 7, 1964.

Russel and Mabel traveled to Santa Barbara to spend Christmas with Dick and Marie. It was a very happy Christmas day. The three young Cline children were on their best behavior to impress Grandma and Grandpa. The next day tragedy struck and Russel took his final rest 12/26/63.   Mabel was devastated but always liked to remember Russel sitting on the floor playing card games with the grandchildren and looking so very content. Russel died from a major heart attack with no suffering or lingering distress.

Russel Cline Obituary in Ritzville Journal Times   1/2/ 1964Cline Services Held Tuesday in Spokane
            Lind – Funeral services for Russel Thommpson Cline were conducted Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 31, from the Alwin Chapel of the Hazen and Jaeger Funeral Home in Spokane, with the Rev. Martin Larson of the Lind Methodist Church officiating.


Adjustments for Mabel    For the first year, Mabel sought ways to return to the home she had enjoyed in Lind. She could find no suitable place to rent, certainly nothing pleasant like her former home or the new facility in Leisure World. She was not comfortable in moving to Spokane. As time passed in Leisure World she began to know more people. She joined the Norseman’s Club, The Woman’s Club, and she became active in the church. For years she kept records of all church financial affairs, every donation, and fundraiser. And of course, Mabel enjoyed a weekly card party with her neighbors.   The associations eventually helped her to feel comfortable in California where she spent the next 35 years. The Leisure World recreation hall provided live music and the travel bureau organized group travel.

During their marriage, Russel handled all of the financial issues. At the time of his death, they had a good-sized portfolio of investments that were intended to provide enough income for retirement. Russel was worried that Mabel would not understand the complexities of investment so he left his estate to a bank-managed trust fund. The fund would pay all of its gains to Mabel but ultimately the money would be divided between Pat and Dick. Mabel received half of their joint property in her own name and she, with the advice of a broker, invested in stocks and bonds. During the years at Leisure, World Mabel took great pride that she was able multiply the value of her half of the estate by almost ten times while the value of the trust investments remained unchanged.

Mabel made many trips from her home in Leisure World during her thirty years of residence. She made twice yearly trips to Santa Barbara to visit Marie and Dick and an equal number to Lind, or Pasco, to visit Pat. In total, total about 60 trips She also took the opportunity to take longer trips to visit other parts of the world. Following is a list of the major trips during the years at Leisure World;

  • September 1965          Europe
  • May 1967                      Tokyo   (With touch down in Saigon during Vietnam War.)
  • June 1968                      Norway
  • January 1973                Caribbean
  • April 1974                     Holy Land
  • October 1974                Indian Country
  • January 1976                Australia
  • March 1978                   Phoenix (with brother Carl and Lee Roning)
  • June 1983                       Alaska               (with Pat & Bob)

Mabel lived at Leisure World until 1993. She maintained a very active social life with meetings and visits each day. She could never think of another man entering her life. She would scoff at a foolish woman who would appreciate the attention of a man. She maintained excellent health until the age 90. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. While there is no definitive test, the presence of several symptoms led to the diagnosis. Also, she experienced three painful physical issues that were identified as heart attacks. In hindsight, these were likely panic attacks, occurring, in part, because she feared a heart attack.

It was agreed that it was best for her to move to Santa Barbara where she could get more attention from the family. She suffered from Parkinson’s disease for ten years until her death on 11/1/98.   The last several years were not happy times. First, she lived at Wood Glen Hall, There were private rooms, a common eating area, and each person cared for their housekeeping. As she became less mobile she moved to     xx   . Subsequent she moved to a full nursing home. None of these provide the warmth of a real home.

Mabel had instructed that she was to be cremated and her ashes would be buried in the same grave as Russel. There was no standard funeral as Mabel had outlived all her peers. Her brothers and sister had passed years before. There was a family celebration of life, featuring the memories of each family member. The book of memories is included in the Appendix.

This document is an ongoing history. To start, the members of the next generations are introduced.

During these years Pat and Dick developed independent careers.  Pat graduated from Washington State College with a certificate for teaching and later obtained a Masters Certificate from Eastern Washington College.   Pat marred Loren Woodside had three children, Kathryn, Scott, and Lori.

Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 4.33.08 PM.png
Woodside family, Loren, Scott, Kathryn, Pat, Lori


Cline family,    Dick,  Cindy,   Janice,  Marie,  David

Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 4.34.09 PM
Cousins. David, Kathryn, Scott, Lori, Janice, Cindy

During this time there was a growing unhappiness between Pat and Loren that ended in divorce in 1977. Pat obtained a teaching position at Burbank and moved to Kennewick.   Pat Married Bob Phillips in 1981. She continued as a library administrator until her retirement from teaching in 1996. Bob died in 2004.

Dick obtained a BS in Physics from Washington State College, married Marie Kosola and started working  for the Navy at Pt. Mugu California. Marie and Dick had three children, David, Janice, and Cynthia. In 1963 The family moved to Goleta where Dick worked at Santa Barbara Research Center.

This family history ends at this time.  Subsequent information on development of these families will wait until someone else adopts responsibility to record family history.

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