Guy Mendenhall epitomizes the description of Cary’s Hometown Spirit Award recipient. I have known Guy for over 20 years. Even though Guy had already retired as the Athletic Director at Cary High School when I was hired there in 1997, he has been around Cary athletics as long as I can remember. He carries with him a wealth of knowledge and to this day, he is known as the “Cary Historian”. Mr. Mendenhall was so beloved at Cary High that Administration instituted an award in his honor. Annually, at the Senior Awards ceremony, the Walter “Guy” Mendenhall Spirit Award is presented to a student and a faculty member exemplifying Guy’s love and involvement in Cary High School. Guy also spent many years substitute teaching at Cary High School.
Growing up near Cary and eventually attending Cary High School in the 1950’s, was the beginning of his passion. He loves to share his memories of Principal Paul Cooper, classmates, teachers, teammates and his friend Charlie Adams. Guy was an active member of a group of athletes, cheerleaders and their spouses called the White Imp Club of the 50’s. Guy helped establish a scholarship to be given annually at the Senior Awards Ceremony at Cary high School. Guy was also instrumental in purchasing a park bench in honor of their football and basketball coach, Coach Simon Terrell. The bench was placed at The Cary Art Center, before it was relocated to Cary High School. Not wanting to forget where “it” all happened, Guy was able to secure his high basketball jersey and hang to two State Championship banners in the original Cary High gym at present day, Cary Elementary. Cary won Championships in basketball and football in 1954 and 1955, respectfully.
Guy is not able to get around as well as he used to, but that just means he gives himself more time and a little help to get there. He attends almost every home game on campus and also loves to take his wife, Ester, to the plays and chorus recitals at school. Guy is a Charter Member of the Cary High School Sports Hall of Fame. He was actually the Athletic Director when the Hall was established in 1994 and was the chairman of the planning and selection committee for several years. We can always rely on ideas and historical perspective that we may not have been aware of. Guy is definitely one of Cary’s biggest Ambassadors. He is also one of the best people that know about what Cary looked like “back then” when Cary was small. Guy also taught Driver’s Education where he would basically take his students on a tour and explain to them where everything used to be.
It seems Guy’s energy is focused primarily on Cary High School, actually that’s just part of it. Guy and Ester are active members of Westwood Baptist Church. Guy tells me how much he used to enjoy going to Cary Elementary and reading to the students there. Guy also served his civic duty by volunteering at local voting places for years. Guy is a Cary boy through a through. He would be honored to know he was thought of as a “Hometown Spirit” nominee. He would be very proud to represent the Town of Cary.
Guy served on the Board of Directors for the Cary Senior Center for 6+ years. He was part of the Fund Raising before the center was built. Then he continued to serve for several years afterwards.
He was instrumental in organizing an Optimist Club where he was a charter member serving as Program Chair for several years.
He served as Chairman of the Cary Senior High School Sports Hall of Fame Committee for 17 years.