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In Memory of Tony Cavett

Article by The Cleveland Daily Banner Tennis coach Tony Cavett dies Posted Saturday, August 4, 2018 10:50 pm By LARRY C. BOWERS A giant of the Cl

Article by The Cleveland Daily Banner

Tennis coach Tony Cavett dies


A giant of the Cleveland/Bradley County tennis community passed away on Friday, unable to survive a rare form of dementia.

John Anthony “Tony” Cavett was a lifelong resident of Cleveland, and served as the tennis coach at Cleveland State Community College, and later at Lee University. He carried both programs to national prominence.

“Tony” was also the tennis professional at the Cleveland Country Club for more than 35 years, and had a longtime involvement in youth and adult tennis programs and tournaments throughout the community.

A Cleveland High School graduate, he taught and coached the game of tennis to hundreds of all ages and genders.

Cavett was honored recently when Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland and the Cleveland City Council voted to name the new, $1 million tennis complex at Tinsley Park in his honor.

Cavett is survived by his wife of 39 years, Jena Griffith Cavett; daughter and son-in-law, Kristen and Ricky Lawson; son and daughter-in-law, Corey and Kimberly Cavett, and their children, Kinsley and Owen; his mother, Bettye Wilson Cavett; brother and sister-in-law, Terry and Belinda Cavett; father-in-law, Bob Griffith; and two nieces, Angel Cavett and Mandy Jackson.

He was preceded in death by his father, John D. Cavett; and mother-in-law, Sandra Ragsdale Griffith.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6, 2018,  at Cleveland First Baptist Church, followed by a Celebration of Life service at 7 p.m. with the Rev. Jim Gibson officiating.

Pastor Gibson introduced Cavett to tennis, which became a game he loved throughout his life.