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NICHOLAS JOSEPH COVATTA Jr. Obituary


COVATTA, Nicholas J. Jr., owner of an Eastern Shore nursery and a Norfolk-based equipment company, as well as a dedicated and generous supporter of Eastern Shore education and artistic enterprises, died early Sunday, November 25, 2012 at his home on Folly Creek, just outside of Accomac, Va. He was 66 years old and had been battling cancer for the past year. Mr. Covatta, a native of Troy, NY., and a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (SB 1968) and Harvard University (MBA 1972), moved to the Eastern Shore in 1980 after purchasing Eastern Shore Nursery of Virginia, a wholesale nursery near Keller, Va. He also co-founded the Atlantis Group in Norfolk, Va., which consists of four Mid-Atlantic operating subsidiaries, including CFE Equipment Corporation. Before moving to the Shore, Mr. Covatta spent more than a decade working in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and the Middle East as an adviser, strategic consultant and corporate executive. He served as a senior consultant with Boston Consulting Group, a vice president of Gulf Oil Corporation, a staff executive of General Electric and an executive vice president of AI International Corporation. Given his background in business, his newly founded Virginia companies thrived. Asked once what the secret was to building a business, he said: "First, never borrow more money than you can afford to lose. And when you start a business, start it where you have location and distribution factors that constitute a 'moat' that possible competitors will find difficult to challenge." When he came to the Shore, Mr. Covatta brought with him not just his business expertise, but a deep personal appreciation and love for higher education and the arts -- and above all a devotion to his wife and business partner, Robin Rinaca. Together they raised two daughters, Anna and Danielle, and settled into their new home -- they had purchased and meticulously restored one of the Eastern Shore's grandest old homes, Bowman's Folly (c. 1815) on Folly Creek. Mr. Covatta's involvement in his daughters' activities led him to play a minor role in a local production of "The Nutcracker," a gig he enjoyed so much that he became a frequent performer on the stage at the North Street Playhouse in Onancock, Va. Over time, he played many leading roles, perhaps the most notable being that of Willy Loman in "Death of a Salesman" - a role that, for sure, he did not play in his own no-nonsense business life. Once, after being praised for his portrayal of Willy Loman, Mr. Covatta said: "You know, I worked really hard at getting that role right, or what I thought was right. And, you know, I got it right, if I do say so." Mr. Covatta was appointed to the board of the Virginia Commission for the Arts by Gov. Tim Kaine in 2006 and he later was elected as chairman of the Commission. He served on the boards of Virginians for the Arts, the North Street Playhouse, Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital and Eastern Shore Community College Foundation. Mr. Covatta was also active in the following organizations: the MIT Educational Council, the McGovern Center for Brain Research at MIT, the Parents Committees for both St. Paul's School in Concord, N.H. and Wellesley College in Wellesley, Mass. He also was a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Parksley, Va. and served as


This obituary was originally published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Read Full Obituary for NICHOLAS COVATTA Jr.
Published online on November 27, 2012 courtesy of Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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Published in Albany Times Union on November 27, 2012
Covatta, Nicholas Joseph Jr. ACCOMA, Va. Nicholas J. Covatta, Jr., owner of an Eastern Shore Nursery and a Norfolk-based equipment company, as well as a dedicated and generous supporter of Eastern... Read Obituary
COVATTA, Nicholas Joseph "Nick" Jr. 66, husband of Robin Rinaca and a resident of Bowman's Folly in Accomac, VA, passed away on Sunday, November 25, 2012, at his residence. Born September 4, 1946 in... Read Obituary
Published online on November 27, 2012 courtesy of Richmond Times-Dispatch.
COVATTA (continued) its treasurer for ten years. In the last year of his life, Mr. Covatta was steadfastly positive, saying often that he had had "a good life" and no reason to complain. He had a... Read Obituary
Published in The Virginian Pilot on November 27, 2012
Nicholas J. Covatta, Jr. Folly Creek - Nicholas J. Covatta, Jr., owner of an Eastern Shore nursery and a Norfolk-based equipment company, as well as a dedicated and generous supporter of Eastern... Read Obituary
Published in The Washington Post on November 27, 2012
  NICHOLAS JOSEPH COVATTA, JR.   (Age 66) "Nick"   Husband of Robin Rinaca and a resident of Bowman's Folly in Accomac, VA, passed away on Sunday, November 25, 2012, at his... Read Obituary

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