Remembering a Cary High Legend, Guy Mendenhall

Cary, NC — A giant in Cary High School’s history and in Cary’s, Guy Mendenhall, passed away on September 21, 2020.

Town Council Commemorates Guy Mendenhall

Before the September 24, 2020 meeting got underway, council member Jack Smith opened with a moment of remembrance for Mendenhall, an avid supporter of Cary. Mendenhall was a Cary High alum who went on to take his place as the charter member of the Cary High School Sports Hall of Fame and the North Carolina Athletic Director’s Hall of Fame. Going beyond the school, he had a love for being involved in the Cary community, even earning the town’s Hometown Spirit Award in 2018.

“Guy truly embraced The Cary community spirit through his dedication to Cary High athletics and to our community. He was truly an all-around great Cary guy who represented us well,” said Smith.

Mendenhall’s legacy lives on through Cary High School’s Walter “Guy” Mendenhall Spirit Award that is given each year to a senior student and a staff member who exemplify Guy’s love and involvement in the school.

A School Advocate and Community Ambassador

Mendenhall grew up near Cary and eventually attended Cary High in the 1950’s, beginning his passion for the town and for sports.

His teaching and coaching career took him to Gaston High School, Clinton High School and Enloe High in Raleigh from the late 1950s until 1977 when he returned home to Cary as Athletic Director.

Outside of his role as Athletic Director, Mendenhall also spent many years substitute teaching at Cary High and even teaching the driver’s ed course. He was involved in Westwood Baptist Church, volunteered at polling places, served on the Board of Directors for The Cary Senior Center for over 6 years and was Chairman of the Cary Senior High School Sports Hall of Fame Committee for 17 years.

After his 1993 retirement, he attended almost every home game on campus and also loved to take his wife, Ester, to the plays and chorus recitals at school. Mendenhall was even able to display his high school basketball jersey alongside two State Championship banners in the original Cary High gym, which is present day Cary Elementary.

Mendenhall was an avid community ambassador with a wealth of knowledge on Cary history and a huge heart for students that the people of Cary will greatly miss.

For those wanting to share memories or express condolences, there is a virtual guestbook available with Mendenhall’s obituary.


Story by Ashley Kairis. Information and photos from the Town of Cary and Cary High School.

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