Roger C. Tavenner "Coach", 77, died peacefully surrounded by loving hands and hearts Sunday, May 26th, 2013. A Celebration of Life will be held 11:00 am Saturday, June 8th, 2013 @ Embassy Suites Hotel 1100 S.E. 17th Street. Ft. Lauderdale, FL. In Lieu of flowers the family requests donations to Vitas Hospice Charitable Fund 5420 NW 33rd Ave. Suite 100 Ft. Lauderdale FL 33309. Roger was born March 15, 1936 in a farmhouse in Plainwell, Michigan to Ruth (Bainbridge) and Raymond Tavenner. His love of wrestling began at Lansing Eastern HS under the great coach, Don Johnson. He was an undefeated State Wrestling Champion and All Conference. His HS wrestling team was inducted into the Hall of Fame and their record still stands today. He graduated from Lansing Eastern HS in '54. Roger graduated from MSU with a BS in Phys Ed and a Masters in Sociology. He coached wrestling in Owasso, MI from 1960-1965. He was recruited to start the first Stranahan HS Wrestling program in 1965. Under Coach Tavenner's leadership, the Stranahan Dragons won State Championships in 1971, '72 and '75 and made FL wrestling history with records standing today. In '73, under Coach Tavenner, Charlie Collins won Nationals. During his coaching career, the Miami Herald rated him as one of the top High School Wrestling Coaches in the nation and referred to him as "The Legend". The "kids" he coached fondly remember him as "tough as hell" and dedicated. He was a father figure to many wrestlers and helped them get college scholarships. He has been named "Coach of the Year" many times and inducted into the "Wrestling Hall of Fame" Roger also owned Ramsey Body Shop for many years. His brother Cliff remembers Roger as jovial and hard working. Nieces and nephews remember him as loving and generous. His friends remember Roger Darlin' as fun, crazy and an oxymoron! He will be greatly missed by all. Roger was preceded in death by his parents, his eldest brother Paul and his sister Patricia. He is survived by his brother Clifford Tavenner of Independence, Missouri, Nieces Sherri, Sue and Anne and their families. Nephews Rocky and Tim, cousins and many friends.
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Published in Sun-Sentinel on June 5, 2013