QUITMAN – Memorial services for Robert Elijah Covington Jr. will be held Saturday, at 2 p.m., at Pachuta Baptist Church in Pachuta. Visitation will be at Mr. Covington’s home in Pachuta, at 128 West Main Street, immediately following the memorial service. Wright’s Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Covington, 88, died Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, at Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian. He was born at Ashby, Ala., and grew up in Pachuta. He graduated from Pachuta High School in 1941. After two years in the Naval Reserve, he served on active duty with the U.S. Navy from July 1943 until June 1946, including as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. PC 574 at the time of his discharge. Mr. Covington later received a B.S. in Commerce and an LL.B. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He first practiced law in Brookhaven before moving his practice to Quitman in 1951, where much of his time was dedicated to soliciting, financing and relocating northern industries to Quitman and Clarke County. He was joined in his practice in 1980 by his wife, Polly J. Covington.
Mr. Covington was active in civil affairs and was a member of the First Baptist Church of Quitman, where he served as a Sunday School teacher for many years. He also served two terms as mayor of Quitman from 1953 until 1961. Mr. Covington was a long-time member of the Executive Council of the Boy Scouts Choctaw Area Council and for more than 40 years served as attorney for the Enterprise School Board and also as Executive Committee Chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party in Clarke County. He studied political issues and Baptist history and once said that he believed his calling was to be a “burr under the saddle.”
Mr. Covington was an avid family-camper and traveled widely tent-camping when his family was young. Favorite destinations included Ocracoke Island in North Carolina, the Florida Keys, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the Apostle Islands of Wisconsin in western Lake Superior, the North Woods of Maine and Prince Edward Island, Canada. Later in life, he traveled more widely and made lasting friendships in the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany. Like his parents, he was determined that his own children receive good educations.
Survivors include his wife, Polly Johnson Covington; children: Robert E. Covington III, Anita Covington Heller, James T. Covington, and David L. Covington: step-daughter, Julia S. Brown; grandchildren: Caroline E. Covington, Robert E. Covington IV, Elizabeth L. Heller, and Steven M. Heller Jr.; step-grandson, Benjamin D. Brown; and, his sisters: Elizabeth C. Goodhart, Martha C. Henry, Catherine C. Eason, and Jane C. McKibbon.
He was preceded in death by his parents, R. E. Covington and Mary Thomas Covington of Pachuta; and by his ex-wife, Anita Emmons Covington of Quitman.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Choctaw Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Meridian, Mississippi.