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.