John “Jack” Jennings Covington ’41

John “Jack” Jennings Covington ’41, of Wadesboro, N.C., died Dec. 8 at Carolina’s Medical Center following a lengthy hospitalization. Covington was born in Anson County on Feb. 7, 1921, to May Dunlap Covington and James Madison Covington, Sr. and was the last surviving child of eight born of their marriage. Two sisters and five brothers preceded him in death: Virginia May, Fred Hargrave, James Madison ’34, Octavius McRae ’38, William Dunlap ’37, Richard Sheffield Covington, and Eloise Covington Rywak. While attending Davidson, Covington was a member of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and the track team. He graduated in 1941 with a double major in business and physics and completed Davidson’s ROTC program. After graduation, Covington managed Western Auto Store in Wadesboro before receiving military orders to report to Ft. Benning, Ga., as a second lieutenant in the infantry. However, his desire to fly prompted him to apply for pilot training, and he qualified for the second spot in a class of 200 pilots training to fly B-24s in Charleston, S.C. He went on to serve as a B-24 pilot in the Army Air Corps for his complete tour of duty, seeing combat in Italy and Europe and being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Following active service, Covington served for 13 years in the North Carolina Air National Guard and received the Presidential Unit Citation and Air Medal with three clusters. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel and was discharged in July 1969. After his service in WWII, but before joining the N.C. Air National Guard, Covington returned to Western Auto in Wadesboro, where he served as manager for almost 25 years. In 1970, along with his wife, Lou Huntley Covington, he opened his own business, White’s Auto Store. Together, he and Lou operated White’s for over a decade. He was also active with another business venture, Covington Properties, which kept him busy after his retirement from the store. He remained an active member of both Rotary International and the First United Methodist Church until his death. In Rotary, he was presented with the President’s Award and was named a Paul Harris Fellow. As a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church, Covington served as head usher and as a member of the administrative board for over 40 years. He was also a lay leader, chairman of the trustees, and a member of the bicentennial committee. In the late 1980s, Covington was recognized by the church for his outstanding efforts in the church’s operation and renovation. He was also recognized in 2007 for his lifelong service to the church. Covington was preceded in death by his wife of 48 years, Mary Louise “Lou” Huntley Covington. He is survived by his son, Fred McRae Covington, 1205 Mountainbrook Rd., Oxford, AL 36203-2126; his daughter, Cynthia Covington (William Herzing); grandchildren, Gretchen Rose Covington, John Ross Covington, Meredith Anne Herzing, Matthew Ross Herzing, and William John Herzing; dear family friends, Lonnie and Anna Baucom and their family; and loyal caregivers, Nannie Ruth Robinson and Cathy Brower.