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Longtime area tennis coach passes away at 60 PHOTO

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Longtime Downriver-area tennis coach Aniceto (J.R.) Muniz passed away Friday, June 27, 2014 at the age of 60 after a long bout with cancer.

Most recently, Mr. Muniz had taken over the Cabrini tennis program in the fall of 2010 and had been the coach for both the boys and girls up until this spring.

“J.R. was a very special man and coach and will be extremely missed by his family, the Cabrini family and the tennis community,” said outgoing Cabrini Athletic Director Tim Kluka.

Prior to his time with the Monarchs, Mr. Muniz coached at Riverview Gabriel Richard from 1998-2009 and turned the Pioneers’ program into one of the strongest in the area.

His introduction to tennis came in the late 1960s while he was a student at Ecorse High School.

Mr. Muniz started out as the Red Raiders’ team manager, but eventually began playing and turned into a standout.

After high school, he made the Wayne State University tennis team as a walk-on and in his senior season was named Team MVP. Later, he returned to Ecorse as an assistant coach from 1979-81.

Aside from coaching, Mr. Muniz was also a teacher and at the time of his hiring at Cabrini was working at Bunche Elementary School in Ecorse.

Music was also a big part of the life of Mr. Muniz, as he started out playing with his family’s Muniz Family Band while growing up, playing accordion, rhythm guitar, lead guitar and bass with the group.

A fan of the Motown sound, Mr. Muniz went on to play in a number of different oldies and rhythm-and-blues bands.

Mr. Muniz is survived by his wife Cathy of 38 years, along with children Alicia, Mario (Angela), Christina and Victoria (Paul) Cooper and grandchildren Dominic, Mia, Marissa, Adam, Natalia, Leah and Makayla. He had six sisters and two brothers and was preceded in death by his parents Soledad and Aniceto Muniz, along with a sister.

Visitation will be held at Martenson Funeral Home in Allen Park from 5-9 p.m. today and 2-9 p.m. tomorrow.

The service for Mr. Muniz will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Trenton.

Last Updated: 6/30/2014 8:28:50 PM EST