Cover photo for Arline Barbara Russell McCarthy's Obituary
Arline Barbara Russell McCarthy Profile Photo
1923 Arline 2020

Arline Barbara Russell McCarthy

February 26, 1923 — May 21, 2020

It is with great sadness that the family of Arline Barbara Russell McCarthy announces her passing. She died peacefully from natural causes at her home in Athens, Ohio, May 21 2020. She was 97.

Arline was born in Rockford, Illinois in 1923; her formative years were spent during the Great Depression and Prohibition. Her mother, Clarabelle Hitt Russell worked in a women’s clothing store and was a voracious reader. Her father, Harold Russell worked for the Gas and Electric Company. A straight A student, Arline had dreams of travel and adventure. She wanted to be an artist. The times limited her opportunities and Arline chose to be a secretary. After high school Arline used her considerable typing and shorthand skills to work in the office of JI Case, a farm machinery company in Rockford. In 1942 Arline saw her chance to expand her horizons and do her part for the war effort. She and her best friend Noni landed jobs in Washington DC. Arline worked for 3 years in the Surgeon General’s office typing and filing. She also took night classes at the Art Institute studying fashion illustration. Those years living with Noni in one room of a private home, a short walk from the white house, were among her most precious memories. She often related stories of the 90 dates she had. That’s a lot of steak dinners, dances and movies!

When the war ended Arline moved to Chicago to continue art school at The Art Institute. It was here that she ran into her forever boyfriend, artist, Cliff McCarthy. Arline knew him from Rockford High School; in fact, they had one date back then. They married in 1946 and then traveled in Mexico for six months before moving to Madison Wisconsin so Cliff could pursue a master’s degree. Arline took a job trimming windows and repairing mannequin’s downtown. In 1948 Arline and Cliff moved to Versailles, France when she was in her 8th month of pregnancy, much to her parent’s dismay. They lived in a 3rd floor walkup with no heat and knew only a little French. After returning to Milwaukee Wisconsin they moved to Frederick Maryland where Cliff worked at Hood College. Arline was able to assist Cliff in finding a teaching position by typing up and sending a hundred applications, one of which was to Ohio University. Arline and Cliff settled in Athens, Ohio with 5 children in 1960. Arline continued supplementing the family income by typing Masters and PhD theses. She organized and implemented many complicated camping trips and vacations for her large family. In 1968 Cliff took a sabbatical year in England. Using her innate practical intelligence, and astounding methods of frugality, she navigated her family on a European camping trip for LESS than $5.00 a day!

In 1971 Arline entered the work force full time as Traffic Coordinator for WOUB TV. Arline earned a bachelor’s degree in Life Long Learning from Ohio University. She was also able to fulfill her dream of world travel.

An active member of the Athens community, she and Cliff were founding members of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Athens. At the age of 92 she starred in a hilarious short film called Ruth’s Great Escape. She was a member of a writers group, a book club and Dru Evarts Brown Bag.

Arline McCarthy is predeceased by her husband Clifford Thomas McCarthy, parents, brother Harold Russell and daughter Domini McCarthy. Surviving family members include Dane McCarthy, Shaune McCarthy- Charle’, Leslie McCarthy and Justine McCarthy, 7 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Special thanks to former daughter in-law Elaine McCarthy who stepped in to provide full-time personal care.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to OhioHealth Home Care and Hospice, Athens Ohio. Arrangements are entrusted to Hughes-Moquin Funeral Home where friends and family may sign the online guestbook at our website,

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Arline Barbara Russell McCarthy, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 0

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree