A Celebration of Life for George Edwin Cabaniss, Jr., 84 of Athens, Texas, will be held Saturday, June 11th at 2:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, Athens, with Rev. Chris Harrison officiating. Visitation for family and friends will be at 1:00 p.m. with a reception immediately following the service.
George was born Dec. 19, 1937, in Nashville, Ark., to George E. and Viola Marshall Cabaniss. George made the most of his youth in rural Arkansas holding several odd jobs which included selling Grit newspapers, picking Elberta peaches and becoming the best “chicken catcher” in his community. When he wasn’t working, George spent time with his brothers and many friends fishing Mine Creek, playing baseball for the Sandhill Gophers or enjoying the short-lived yet infamous game they called “tackling tires.” It was on Sandhill that George began to craft his unique storytelling ability and iconic sayings. They would be the hallmark of his wit throughout his life.
George moved to Longview in 1958 where he enjoyed a successful 30 plus year career in the insurance industry. His territory was rural east Texas, and he developed a reputation for honesty, and hard work. He built strong relationships with the communities he served and eventually retired as a Field Vice President at Monumental Life. He was a founding member of those that received Red Coats — a prestigious company tradition that honored top employees for their production, quality and leadership. This is the coat he proudly wore on important occasions and at his request, is the coat he will be buried in. While in Longview, George was an active member of Greggton United Methodist Church, and the Longview Jaycees. He volunteered with the Palmers Drug Abuse Program and served with the Texas National Guard. However, his favorite volunteer endeavor was youth baseball. First as a coach and later as a board member of the Longview Boys Baseball Association, George’s optimistic attitude and encouraging words had a positive and lasting effect on both coaches and players.
More than anything George cherished family. Through both challenging and joyful times, Glenda, his dedicated wife of 55 years, was his one true love. For the past decade, Glenda was his primary caregiver and even as his memory began to fade, George was deeply aware and appreciative of her dedication to him. Their life together has been and will always be an inspiration to their friends and family.
George was preceded in death by his parents, George E. Cabaniss and Viola Griffith; brothers, Wayne Cabaniss, Tommy Cabaniss, Dean Cabaniss, Butch Schott.
Survivors include: his wife, Glenda Rogers Cabaniss of Athens; daughter Connie Cabaniss Grodis of Fort Worth; sons Bren Cabaniss of Arlington, Edwin Cabaniss and wife Lisa of Dallas; grandchildren, Justin and his wife Fayda, Cassi and her husband Ryan, Cara, Mason, Branson, Gabrielle, Rachelle, great-grandchildren, Yusuf, Fatima, Kylee and Elijah; brother, Harold Griffith; sisters, Cathy Wolf and Nancy Wallis and numerous nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers will be Charley Cabaniss, Danny Cabaniss, Kyle Gilbreath. Jeff Hammock, and Brad Rogers.
Honorary Pallbearers will be Don Gilbreath, Jimmie Gladden, Jerry Rogers and Larry Watkins.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in George’s honor to Carroll Springs United Methodist Church or First Methodist Church, Athens.