Charles Sydney Hovis
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YORKTOWN, VA - Charles Sydney Hovis, who taught young people how to finish strong in any athletic contest, fought the battle of heart and kidney disease and is now watching down on us from Heaven. Born in Kingsport, he graduated from Sullivan High School and East Tennessee State College. After teaching one year in Hawkins County, TN, Hovis married his loving wife of 54 years Carolyn, and they moved to Yorktown ,VA in 1959. He taught, coached, and served as athletic director at York High School. After 20 years at York, he switched to county rival Tabb High School in 1980. He taught and was the head football coach from 1980-2004. He built a powerhouse at Tabb where his teams won 3 state football championships and fostered indescribable community spirit and pride known as the "Glory Days of Tabb Football." Hovis also coached track, where he added another state championship to the tally in 1989. Coach Hovis retired from Tabb High School in 2004. He was an honest, kind man and would always help anyone who needed it. He touched so many lives with his humor in the classroom and his dedication to York County. On the football field, Hovis taught determination, toughness, pride and integrity. He truly loved his job and being around students and faculty members. After retirement, Charlie enjoyed life traveling with Carolyn, cooking weekly Sunday dinners, and spending time helping to shape and influence his grandchildren. He was an amazing man who had a wonderful impact on so many. His presence has enriched the lives of all who knew him, and he served as an example for all. He will be greatly missed and cherished forever. Charles was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. He is survived by his wife Carolyn Hovis; children Lee Hovis and his wife Cindy of Jacksonville, FL, Leah Hovis Omweg and her husband Chris of Yorktown; and Carla Hovis Slack and her husband Charlie of Chesapeake, VA. He was affectionately known as "Grouch" by his grandchildren, Holly Hovis of Jacksonville, FL, Sydney and Taylor Omweg of Yorktown, Katie Hovis of Jacksonville, Hunter Trowbridge of Chesapeake, CJ Omweg of Yorktown, Cassidy Trowbridge of Chesapeake, and Chloe Slack of Chesapeake. He is also survived by his twin brother Powell Hovis and his wife Sandra; sisters Jeannine Hodges and Sharron Richardson and her husband Jerry, ; brother in law N. Ray Taylor; and special aunts Aleen Steadman, Jean Powell; and several cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Lee Michael Hovis and Hazel Powell Hovis. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 5:00pm in St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Yorktown, VA. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service in the church, and at a reception following the service in the church social hall. Graveside services will be held at 3:00 pm on Thursday, April 25, at Eastlawn Memorial Gardens in Kingsport TN. The family will receive friends following the service at Sullivan Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. Memorial donations may be made to Hampton Roads Fellowship of Christian Athletes, PO Box 868,Yorktown, VA 23692 or to St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 300 Ella Taylor Road, Yorktown, VA 23692.

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Published in Daily Press on Apr. 22, 2013.
Memories & Condolences
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58 entries
April 16, 2019
Carolyn - My thoughts always go back to you at TMS.
You are the reason I am here still today at YHS.
I pray you are doing good and your memories are happy ones.
God bless...
Bobbi Boutwell
April 30, 2013
So sorry to hear about Dad/Grandpa Hovis. He was a very special person. We may have only met a couple times, but liked him instantly.
Uncle Jerry and Aunt Marilyn Payn
April 30, 2013
Carolyn, I am so very sorry to hear about Charlie. I DID NOT KNOW. Please know that you have my deepest sympathy. My prayers are with you and your family. Love you.
Teresea Rhoulac
April 29, 2013
I am very sorry to hear coach passed away so soon. I heard he was in a wheelchair and decided to go see him. I waited too late! I wish I could have talked to him just one more time. I played football at York for Charlie Hovis 1969,1970 &1971. He was able to get more out of us then we thought we had. All who knew him will surely miss him! Rest in peace, It is first and ten.
Robert Seaford
April 28, 2013
Thank you everyone for all of your kind words and prayers. It has been comforting to know that Charles/Dad touched so many lives. We really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. May God bless each and everyone of you!
The Hovis Family
Carolyn Hovis
April 25, 2013
Finish strong! Well done Coach! You finished strong, you tought so many strong ethic and discipline with love and humor weaved in. A legacy that will live strong in the lives of many. You will be missed. Today, in your honor, my dad (Bob Browne) and I sounded off a special horn (one that he blew when Tabb scored touchdowns '87-'89 )and oh how he enjoyed it. Thoughts and prayers are with those who knew and loved you. And may the many memories fill their hearts with joy each day.
Kristine Browne
April 25, 2013
Thoughts and prayers be with all who knew and loved Coach Hovis. Wonderful and fabulous memories from '87- '89 Tabb high games will be forever etched in my memory. Hovis was a truly a blessing; his lessons, advice, and laughter will forever be etched in many hearts and lives. Today, my dad (Bob Browne)and I blew a special horn (that was blown at many Tabb games when touchdowns were played) in Coach's honor and memory. Oh how he enjoyed it. Thank you coach for everything!!!(Class of '89)
Kristine Browne
April 24, 2013
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
Anthony Farrior
April 24, 2013
Coach Hovis was a tough, but fair coach. I remember his favorite drill at York High during football practice was "Bull in the Ring". GOOD TIMES!! Coach, thanks for being part of my formative years!!!
Mike Jewel
April 24, 2013
I am honored to be one of the young men that Coach Hovis coached (York 1974/1975) during the span of his career. I still remembered to this day what he said to me after our big win over rival Tabb. He said, "Smitty, if you were 6 foot five you'd be an All-American!" (I'm only 5ft5).

The lessons he taught me are lessons that I carry with me today.

God Bless you Coach Hovis! You'll be missed but not forgotten!
April 23, 2013
My prayers go out to the Hovis Family. Coach Hovis was a wonderful person as well as a coach, he will truly be missed. May god bless you and your family.
Penny Brooks
April 23, 2013
It was such a pleasure to know Coach Hovis. He was a great coach and great man. To be one of his students and work along side him for many years was truly a privilege. He will be deeply missed.
Danny Holland
April 23, 2013
Such a great loss to so many. He and Carolyn were always so kind to my wife and me. We will cherish the memories forever.
Ric and Jean Wolfe
April 23, 2013
To The Hovis Family: I had the pleasure of being a student at York High and later returning as a colleague. Both experiences were greatly rewarding. I hope that in sad times in the furture you will each take a moment to remember a great time you had with Coach Hovis and keep his spirit alive. GOD BLESS each of you and keep you well,
David Nettles
April 23, 2013
Being in the presence of Coach Hovis as he coached our son Brandon (THS class of 1997)on and off the football field will be forever in our memory. What a gentleman and with the special personality to influence young adults to follow their dreams toward a happy and successful future. We feel privileged to have know him and he will be missed.
Orville & Vivian Calhoun
Vivian Calhuon
April 23, 2013
Coach Hovis, you will be miss dearly. Our prayers and thoughts with the whole family. Coach you were so kind to me and my family when we lost our son, know that he care about you and thank you for letting him be a Football player, RIP and keep an eye on my Tito...We loved and will miss you. The Bossman's.
Ana Bossman
April 23, 2013
Sandra & Family,
So sorry we can not be there. We have ALL of you in our prayers.
Ron & Kaye(Setzer)Bach
April 23, 2013
Carolyn, My thoughts and prayers go out to you and all the family as you go thru this sad time . Love and Prayers Mary Lively
April 23, 2013
Coach Hovis coached football in a way that taught life lessons to his players - hard work pays off, accepting responsibility for your actions, always giving 110%, treating people with respect, be quick to smile and laugh. He set an example for all that knew him. My friends and I were honored to play for him and feel blessed to have known him. Love you, Coach!
Terry McCartney
April 23, 2013
Carolyn and family, I am sorry that I missed seeing Charlie and you on his last hospitalization. Each time I saw his name on the patient list I was sad because he was getting worse, but I was also happy that I would be able to stop in for a visit. You both were such delights to visit with and share prayers. I had no idea about all his accomplishments until I read the paper. But I know his greatest pride was his loving family and deep faith. My prayers and blessing are with you.
Chaplain Barbara Shefelton
April 23, 2013
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Mary Immaculate Hospital Intensive Care Unit
April 23, 2013
As a gentleman, coach, and mentor to so many Tabb High students, Charlie touched young lives and leaves behind a star-powered legacy. You will surely sparkle brightly, Charlie, among the Tabb Tiger stars that dust the evening sky! To Carolyn and your family, may memories of happy times with you ease the sadness and bring comfort and peace. Godspeed!
Kitty Richmond
April 23, 2013
Jeannine, sorry for the loss of your
Nancy Owens Saucedo
April 23, 2013
I was a student of Coach Hovis and was on the track team. You were an awesome teacher and compassionate person for the students at Tabb. You will be missed and now you will watch over the kids in heaven because your passion is with students. RIP Coach
April 22, 2013
My deepest sympathies to the Hovis family. I was lucky enough to have Coach Hovis as a teacher during my tenure at Tabb. I fondly remember his class and how encouraged
my interest in photography. God bless. Jo Richardson Boyd, Class of 78
April 22, 2013
To the Hovis Family,
Coach Hovis was a good man who believed in integrity and leadership. Coach taught me to lead by example and give 100% on the field Mrs. Hovis, and family my prayers go out to you all. God Bless you all! Maxwell class of 2002
Schuyler Maxwell
April 22, 2013
Rest in peace Coach Hovis. Thank you for teaching me drafting and for putting up with my teenage girl drama! May God comfort your grieving family. York High School, Class of 1975
Anne Allison Foster
April 22, 2013
We had the pleasure of working with Charlie at Tabb. What a fine man and educator. Our prayers are with you, Carolyn.
Gary/Jeannie Saunders
April 22, 2013
The Hovis family has been part of our lives in the neighborhood since 1972. May God bless you in the days ahead in memory of a fine man. We all will miss him being around. Carol Martin Reaves, Natalie and Jacqueline.
charles hovis
April 22, 2013
Carolyn, my thoughts are with you and your family at this sad time.
Theresa Freyberger
April 22, 2013
Charlie was a great friend of mine.I was a volunteer coach under him until 1999.I always respected his opinions and he taught me a lot.I remember the long and short trips we sat by each other on the many bus rides including 3 state championships.The times when we were practicing during thanksgiving and charlie saying he was ready for the turkey. He always presented himself in a calm manner. I will never forget him or Carolyn.Until we meet again in Heaven. May God Bless
Guy Wirt
April 22, 2013
My thoughts and prayers are with the Hovis family. Carolyn I am deeply sorry and send you my love. I think about how special you were to me in my first few days at TMS. I pray God blesses you and your family.
Bobbi Boutwell
April 22, 2013
Coach Hovis was one of the classiest gentlemen to ever be called Coach. He was the perfect example of what
a coach should be. I feel fortunate to have known him
Coach Tom Goforth
April 22, 2013
Such a great loss to so many. He and Mrs. Hovis were always so kind to me when most were not! I can still see his smile when coming into school in the mornings. God gave us a wonderful man and his time here was served by helping, teaching and loving kids that needed it most. He was truly one of a kind and will be missed. My prayers go up for the entire family. May the Lord bring you peace, strength and comfort. My love to you all.
Amanda Marshall Wimmer
April 22, 2013
Charlie was such a wonderful friend and instrumental part of our lives. I know I shared with him our deep appreciation through the years, and I'm so thankful I did. He will be missed and forever loved by the Purnell family.
Lori Ann and Jake Purnell
April 22, 2013
My deepest sympathy to the Hovis family. Charlie was a wonderful coach and personal friend although we competed at rival schools for seventeen years. He will be missed by all who knew him.
---Turnley Todd
Gloucester, VA
April 22, 2013
To my coach Charles Hovis. You were tough and old school who taught us what it takes to work hard on the practice field but to also put that same energy into life as men. Class 03
Quincy Slade
April 22, 2013
Condolences to Coach Hovis' family. I am saddened to learn of his passing. In the mid 1960s I was a student in Mr. Hovis drafting class. He was an outstanding teacher. Because of the influence and encouragement of Coach Hovis and Mr. Gus Smith at York High School, I started running track. Although I graduated from Kecoughtan and coached at Phoebus and Hampton High, I have never forgotten Coach Hovis and Coach Smith. May you be comforted in knowing the many lives this wonderful man influenced.
Gaylon Ryan
April 22, 2013
April 22, 2013
We are very sadden to hear of your passing and miss seeing you at Oyster Point Health Center. We will miss talking about those Redskins with you. God bless your family and dear wife who use to save the parking space for me. RIP
Ralph & Janet Eanes
Janet Eanes
April 22, 2013
Coach Hovis was a great leader, as well as a true friend to all students. Not just the athletes playing for him. A true asset to Tabb H.S. athletics, and academics. He will be missed greatly, by many people. My thoughts, & condolences go out to the entire Hovis family. Miss you coach, and thanks for a lot of good times, & memories.
David Thomas. Class of 86 Tabb
April 22, 2013
Coach Hovis was a great leader, n a true friend to all students. Not just the atheletes playing for him. A true asset to Tabb
H.S. athletics, and academics. He will be missed greatly, by many people. My thoughts, & condolences go out to the entire Hovis family. Miss you coach, and thanks for a lot of good times, & memories.
David Thomas. Class of 86 Tabb
April 22, 2013
When I remember Coach Hovis, I smile! It was evident the positive impact he had on all who knew him and were blessed enough to have him as a teacher/mentor.
I was at the Tabb/Hampton game back in 1987 and man..what a game!! Under Coach, we had the most AMAZING football team! I couldn't wait for Friday night games!
He will be missed and never forgotten!
Melissa (Missy) (Salisbury) Black
April 22, 2013
Coach Hovis was a great teacher, mentor and leader. I was in his drafting classes at York High in 1974-1978, and look back on those classes with great memories. The students at York and Tabb were so lucky to have him as teacher for so many years.
Donna Busbiin
April 22, 2013
Charlie was a true legend and he will be missed. He made a lasting impression on many youn people. My heart goes out to his family.
Esther Freeman. Poquoson Virginia
April 22, 2013
I love you! You were an important person in so many lives! Rest in Peace!!!
Sarah Beiser Eaton
April 22, 2013

I want you to know that you influenced me greatly and taught me success. I am now an athletic director of a 2500 student school. We are trying to get where Tabb was when I was there. I will never forget my years at Tabb and the lessons you taught me.

Carla, you were a great friend in High School and you and your family have my sympathy. The world lost a good man.

Kelley Scott
Tabb High School
Class of 1988
Kelley Scott
April 22, 2013
Coach Hovis always had a smile on his face in school and greeted everyone who went by his classroom. I graduated with leah in 86. I wish to send my deepest sympathy to the family and friends who knew him. He will be missed by all who loved him.
Jo Anna Telstad/Lawrence
April 22, 2013
Rebecca Deamer
April 22, 2013
Coach Hovis was a great and wonderful man. His passion for football, students, and "giving back" is a testament and will forever be a part of his legacy. Thoughts and prayers to the family.
Sheila Branson
April 22, 2013
He is a well respected gym teacher. I had the privilege of knowing him.
jonathan pace
April 22, 2013
Coach Hovis was a great man. He touched so many young lives here in York County. My son was one. He played football at Tabb High and Coach Hovis was instrumental in obtaining a scholarship to UVA. He took the time to teach not only the students, but also the parents. During the years my son played for him, he held "Monday Night Football" sessions for the parents. For those who attended, he would show films from their previous games and explain what each young man did (right or wrong) that contributed to the game. This was done on his own time and I will always look back and appreciate the time he gave to us. Thank you, Coach Hovis, for your service to our youth.
Deborah Keith
April 22, 2013
At York High School in the early 1960s, Mr. Hovis taught us that success and self-respect comes from hard work, on and off the field. He showed us how to face challenges with both determination and humor. He was the teacher and role model that we needed in our high school years.
Richard Stearns
April 22, 2013
I still remember my first meeting with Coach Hovis, I was a sophmore at Tabb High 95', he was doing roll call. When he got to my name he just looked up from his paper and asked " Which one is your father". I answered and he just shook his head. He had taught my father at York. He always gave me such a hard time about it and would always make me laugh telling me stories about my dad. He was an awesome teacher, role model, and coach. I will never forget his unique sense of humor and the way he made everyone stay on their toes (you never wanted to get called out by Hovis)!!! Such a sad loss to our community but his impact will live in our hearts forever. Prayers to his family. GOD Bless!

Tabb High Alum 97'
Lisa Darouse
Lisa (Darouse) Schrecengost
April 22, 2013
Miss Carolyn, Lee, Leah and Carla - I am saddened to hear of Charlie's passing. There are so many shared memories of our families. Charlie was best man at my Mom and Dad's wedding. So many kids grew up on the ball fields of York County. I am sure Dad (Gus) and Mr.T were waiting at heaven's gate to welcome Charlie home. I am holding you close in thought and prayer.
Ami Smith
April 22, 2013
No matter how aunry I was, when I was in high school, he still cared so much for me and it had a long lasting impact in my life. Coach will always hold a very special place in my heart. My deepest condolences and prayers go out to each and every one of his family members. Carolyn, I love you and will be here for you, should you need anything. RIP Coach. Until we meet again!
Lori Ramsey-Riesbeck
April 22, 2013
Who doesn't remember Coach Hovis when you think of Tabb High? He was a great coach and mentor to many. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers to his famil.
Vicki Burcher
April 22, 2013
With great sadness we morn the loss of a great man and coach. He had been a coach and teacher to me in the late 60's and he and his wife, a neighbor as well. He will be greatly missed
Bill Atchison
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