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Published: Monday, 11/1/2010

Thomas Kine, 1930-2010: Nightclub singer an avid backer of the arts

Thomas Edward Kine, 80, a nightclub singer who continued to entertain in nursing homes until two years ago, died Friday at Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Toledo, of complications from pneumonia.

Mr. Kine's son, Daniel Kine, described his father as an avid supporter of the arts who liked to act in plays and was a longtime usher at the Toledo Repertoire Theater.

He was born in Toledo on April 27, 1930, and graduated from Clay High School in 1952.

He was drafted into the Army during the Korean War and was stationed in Germany, where he was a Morse code operator.

His singing career took off in the early 1960s when Baldy Wetzell, whom son Daniel described as one of the last vaudeville entertainers of his time, took Mr. Kine under his wing.

"He sang in every bar in this town. Any bar he would walk into … [the audience] would be like, Tom Kine's in the house and make him get up and sing."

Mr. Kine, a tenor generally accompanied only by a piano player such as Mr. Wetzell, would sing tunes from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and other crooners for fans in local spots including Orchard Inn, Park Cafe, Rooster Inn, and the Ritz Supper Club.

Up until the last two years, Mr. Kine would sing in nursing homes, his son said.

He turned down a chance to perform in Las Vegas when his children were young, telling his family later that he didn't want to leave them behind, said his son.

Daniel Kine said his mother would send him to accompany his father while he performed "because she knew I would snitch on him."

"He would set me up at the bar and I would sit there and watch him play. She just knew I would tell her every thing that went on," he said.

His day job was installing fences for Marleau Hercules Fence Co. for several decades, working for the Toledo firm until he was 79.

In the last 10 years he worked in the office "because he didn't want to leave," Daniel Kine said.

His wife, Sally, died in 2000.

Mr. Kine is survived by sons Thomas and Daniel Kine; four grandchildren, a great-grandchild, sisters, Shirley Blessing, Marlene Menter, Beverly Rock, Gail Taber, Sunday Miller, and Iva Davis, and stepbrothers, Michael Morse and John Morse.

Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Newcomer Funeral Home and the funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

Contact: Jim Sielicki at:

jsielicki@theblade.com

or 419-724-6050



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