Seth A. Vining: An Appreciation

Published 11:59 am Wednesday, June 22, 2022

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I met the four strapping Vining sons and daughter Marty, who was holding her own very well, when I visited Seth Jr. and his family on one of my trips back to Tryon. Unfortunately, Marty was taken from us soon thereafter, but I think those boys have grown into solid citizens today.

John remained among us as the Polk County Extension Agent. John wrote this to me about his brother Seth: “A few weeks ago I told my kids that their uncle has the God-given talent to make good people great and average people good. There aren’t too many people in this world that have that skill.”

John wrote an article for the TDB about his brother’s accomplishments that led to his induction into the Georgia Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame. You can read John’s article to learn details of all that . . .

I asked Jim to provide the names, wives and occupations of the Seth Jr and Bos family in birth order: 

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“Seth Alfred Vining. BS and Masters Western Carolina. Gainesville Georgia since 1975. Married to Cathy Fincher (Tryon) since 1974. One son and daughter, 4 grandchildren. Both taught school (now retired) and volunteered to help troubled kids.

“James (Jim or Jimmy to school friends) Boswell Vining. BS NC State. Port St. Joe Florida 1975 to 1978. Rock Hill South Carolina since 1978. Retired out of paper manufacturing industry, served on Rock Hill School Board from 1998 until 2018. Married Patrice James (Statesville) in 1976. Have three sons and daughters-in-law and 6 grandchildren. Pat taught school (now retired).

“Margaret (Marty) Ann Vining.

“John Hamilton Vining.

“David Ralston Vining, BS Clemson. Teacher at McCallie School in Chattanooga Tennessee since 1985. Coaches Middle School Tennis and also Greystone Camp (Tuxedo) Tennis Director for most of those years. Married Beth Hill in 2007. Has two step daughters and one step son.  Three grandchildren. Beth taught school (now retired) and David continues to teach and coach.”

In a more recent email, Jim wrote, “Garland, I made a serious omission in what I sent earlier. Seth’s wife is Cathy Fincher. He could not have done what he did without her support and guidance. She was his assistant coach with his first team (minor league baseball, 8 year olds at Harmon Field). If there was a Hall of Fame for coach spouses, Cathy would be the first one in.”

John further shared this about Seth: “Brother Seth came two different times to help with Polk County’s basketball summer camp. The first time was in 2009 and yes, my son Sam was playing basketball for Polk County. He came again in 2018, and my son Sam was teaching and coaching junior varsity basketball at Polk County High School.” Seth A. has devoted his life to helping young people grow into responsible adult citizens.  

I think every man would agree that his choice of spouse played a big part in determining whether his endeavors would succeed or fail. And I’m afraid there are a multitude of under-appreciated spouses out there, but I hope mine is not among them. I hope I have “always” let her know that I valued her able assistance and sound advice, though she usually did not offer the latter unless asked.

She came into our marriage with the notion that the man is head of the household. I came into it wondering whether I could ever be worthy of her confidence in me to live up to my responsibilities to her. She has been trying for nearly 67 years to make me acceptable in society, and she has not given up on me—yet!

Gladys, Bos, Cathy, Pat, Pam, Beth and Fran all had their work cut out for them, but I think all of them were/are proud of their husbands for what they accomplished—albeit together. Raising kids to be responsible adults is no small part of the equation. I always hoped I could give my kids a name to live up to, not one they’d have to live down!      

 Garland would like to hear from you at 828-859-7041 or