Donna Cooper Covington was gathered to her people on April 2, 2019. She was predeceased by her husband of 64 years William C. Covington Jr. (“Wild Bill”), mother and father Minnie Taylor and Emmit Rupert Cooper and younger sister Peggy. She is survived by her sons Jeff Covington of Charlotte and Scott Covington (Donna) of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. She was particularly proud of her grandchildren Grant, Cody (now in heaven with her), Lauren, Davis, Rachel, Anna and Ashlyn – all who always referred to her as GranDonna. She also loved her canine sons Charley (now in heaven) and Jake.
Donna was born in 1931 in the coal mining town of Logan, West Virginia. A true coal miner’s daughter, she moved to Pittsburgh, PA when her father became General Manager of coal mining for Jones & Laughlin Steel Company headquartered in Pittsburgh. She obtained a liberal arts degree from California University of Pennsylvania and then graduated from the MBA program at University of Pittsburgh.
Donna joined Carson, Pirie and Scott – one of the largest department stores in Chicago at that time, and was fortunate enough to work closely for Edith Grimm, an innovator in the retail business who developed concepts such as The Bride Shop and College Shops.
While visiting a college friend in Ft. Worth, Texas, she met Bill on a blind date when he was in the Air Force’s Strategic Air Command. She moved to Ft. Worth and became a flight attendant for Central Airlines (predecessor of Southwest Airlines). They became engaged in Ft. Worth before Bill resigned from the Air Force and joined Burlington Industries. She and Bill were married at the Cooper’s second residence at Deep Creek, Maryland (near Oakland, MD).
When Bill returned to UNC for his MBA degree, Donna was a speech therapist and a teacher for special needs children in the area to help support Bill’s effort. While Bill worked with NCNB (later named NationsBank, the predecessor to Bank of America), Donna continued to teach and raise Jeff and Scott. While they were living in Greenville, SC she created a gardening TV show called “Pot to Plot.” After moving to Charlotte in 1978, she entered the residential real estate business where she truly enjoyed a long and successful career with special friend and associate Alyce Walker.
Donna enjoyed traveling to various countries with her good friend Jane Coley including Egypt, England, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Germany, and France. Her other primary interests included reading, her membership in the New Horizon’s Book Club and enjoying her laptop computer. One of her greatest pleasures was spending time at their family condominium at Litchfield Beach, SC, and particularly when joined by her grandchildren. She joyfully organized and held “Boys Camp” and “Girls Camp” for her beloved grandchildren. She was also a very accomplished shell collector having spent many years shelling on Vanderbilt Beach, Marco Island, and Sanibel and Capitva Islands near Naples, FL. She imparted this interest to her sons (who still suffer from the “Sanibel Stoop”) and grandchildren. She had a true gift and passion to teach family and friends as was evident in sharing her deep knowledge of plants, shelling, and real estate.
Out of the many shining talents in this life well lived, it is Donna’s enduring love and care for her family that will always be remembered.
Services and burial will be at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 6th at the Spring Hill Cemetery family plot in Wagram, NC, officiated by Rev. John Baker.
She requested any memorials be sent to Autism Charlotte at 821 Baxter Street, Suite 310, Charlotte, NC 28202 (PO Box 12671, Charlotte, NC 28220) or to The Humane Society of Charlotte at 2700 Toomey Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28203.
McDougald Funeral Home and Crematorium of Laurinburg, NC is handling the funeral arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donna Cooper Covington, please visit our floral store.
PO Box 12671, Charlotte NC 28220
The Humane Society of Charlotte
2700 Toomey Avenue, Charlotte NC 28203