Edward H. Covell Jr.

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EASTON - Edward Hall Covell Jr. passed away peacefully on November 22, 2013 at Blakehurst Retirement Community in Towson, Md. He was born April 15, 1921 the son of the late Edward H. Covell, Sr. of Queen Anne's County and Caroline Willis Covell of Talbot County. He graduated from Centreville High School where he set several track records in addition to playing soccer and basketball. Ed had wonderful memories of growing up in Centreville. Many of his childhood friends became his lifelong friends. Ed was an avid outdoorsman from an early age. He enjoyed spending many summers on the farm at East Bonfield in Oxford where his mother grew up. He attended Goldey College of Business and the University of Maryland majoring in Agronomy. Ed served in the Marine Corps in World War II. On April 15, 1944 he married Elizabeth "Betsy" M. Mumma whom he met while both were attending the University of Maryland. They lived in Baltimore for a year while Ed was working at the Southern States Cooperative in Baltimore. In 1945, Ed founded the Willis and Covell Company, a farm supply, feed, seed and grain company in Denton, Md. He served as its president until 1958 when it merged with J. McKenny Willis and Sons, Inc. In 1958, he served as an industry member working with the Consumer Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to formulate the regulations to implement the Poultry Product Inspections Act. From 1958 to 1982 he was on the board of the National Broiler Council and served three terms as its Chairman. In 1961, he was appointed by the Kennedy Administration to the National Broiler Advisory Committee to study the feasibility of national marketing orders to curtail the production of broiler chickens in the United States. In 1962, Ed became President of Bayshore Foods, Inc. the result of a merger of J. McKenny Willis and Son, Inc., Easton, Md., The Willis and Covell Company, Denton, Md., The St. Michaels Milling Company, St. Michaels, Md. and the Burris Processing Company in Milford, Del. From 1963 to 1969, Ed served as Vice Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Public Affairs Committee, as well as member of the Executive Committee of the American Feed Association. In 1965, he was appointed by President Johnson to the National Defense Executive Reserve representing the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The purpose of the NDER was to prepare the U.S. for the aftermath of a nuclear attack. Ed was appointed by Governor Agnew in 1967 to serve as the Chairman of the Commission in Maryland to Study the State Board of Agriculture. The recommendations of this study passed the Maryland State legislature in the 1968 session establishing the Maryland Agriculture Commission. In 1969, Ed was appointed by President Nixon to be the Vice Chairman for Agriculture Production on the White House Conference for Food, Nutrition and Health whose goal was to formulate plans of action that would mark the beginnings of a National Nutrition Policy. Ed was appointed by Governor Mandel to be the Chairman of the Governor's Task Force on Agriculture which eventually created the Maryland Department of Agriculture in the 1972 session of the General Assembly. In March of 1974 Ed was appointed by Governor Mandel to serve on the Energy Advisory Board. From 1969 to 1979 he was the President of Bayshore Foods, Inc., which at that time had become a subsidiary of Kane-Miller Corp., Tarrytown, New York. As companies merged, Ed became the Vice President of Country Pride Foods Limited, Manager of the Delmarva Division. In 1980 he became Vice President of Con Agra Poultry Division. In 1982, Ed started The Covell Company serving as a governmental and industry liaison. Semi retired at this point in his life, he went on to serve six years as a Director of the Baltimore Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank and another three years as its Chairman. From 1986 to 1991 he served as a Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Ed was the recipient of the Delmarva Distinguished Citizen Award in 1966 and in that same year he was the recipient of the Scofield Trophy for Leadership in Maryland's Poultry Industry. He was the recipient of the Workhorse of the Year Award in 1972, presented by the Southeastern Poultry and Egg Association for chairing the industry committee which succeeded in having the Cost of Living Council modify the economic stabilization regulations to include the first sale of "in the raw" agricultural products exemptions. In 1973, Ed received the National Broiler Council Award for Outstanding Leadership and devotion of time and effort in the field of government relations for the National Broiler Council and the entire broiler industry. In November of 1974 Ed received a Resolution from the Maryland Agriculture Commission for his guidance in the agriculture field in the six years serving on the commission and also as their Chairman. Ed had the great privilege of being inducted into the Poultry Hall of Fame in 1998. In 1999 he was recognized by the University of Maryland Alumni Association - College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and also for Community Leadership and Contribution to Agri-Business by the Centreville High School Alumni Association. In 2004 Ed was named one of 13 Broiler Industry Pioneers at the National Chicken Council Golden Anniversary Gala. Ed was a Co-founder and President of the Eastern Shore Grain and Feed Dealers Association as well as a director of the Poultry and Egg National Board. He was a director and President of the Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. and served for several years as Chairman of the legislative committee. Ed also served as a director of the Eastern Shore Community Council of Wye Institute. He was Vice President of the District II, Maryland State Legislature. Ed traveled to England, U.S.S.R., Poland, Hungary, West Germany, Holland, Italy and Greece with People to People, Chamber of Commerce of the U.S., the U.S.D.A. and the U.S. Feed Grains Council. Ed was a past member of the vestry of Christ Episcopal Church, Denton, Md. and Holy Trinity Church in Oxford, Md. He was a past member of the Maryland Agriculture Advisory Board, the Northeastern Poultry Producers Association, the American Poultry and Hatchery Federation, life member of the American Poultry Historical Society, honorary life board member of the National Broiler Council, Sponsor Ducks Unlimited, Talbot Rod and Gun Club, Talbot Country Club, Tred Avon Yacht Club, University Club of Washington, D.C., Capitol Hill Club of Washington, D.C., Commodity Club of Washington, D.C., life time member of Masonic Temple Lodge 126, American Legion Post 18, Rotarian, Scouter, Director of the Easton Memorial Hospital and a member representing Ducks Unlimited on the original committee which founded the Waterfowl Festival. Ed was proud to have played a part in establishing the Guest Wing of the Talbot Hospice. Ed loved history and was a great storyteller. In addition to hearing his many stories, his children have wonderful memories of trips out west and other great adventures. He is survived by his wife, Joyce Q. Covell of Towson; two sons, Richard P. Covell of Easton, and Edward H. Covell III "Ned" of Salisbury; one daughter, Linda C. Reilly and her husband Bryon, of St. Michaels; and one step-daughter, Jill Baer and her husband John and their two daughters, Rachel and Emily of Towson, Md. In addition to his parents, Ed was preceded in death by a brother, John Willis Covell and his first wife of almost 50 years, Elizabeth "Betsy" M. Covell. A graveside service will be held at noon on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013 at the Oxford Cemetery in Oxford, Md. A celebration of Ed's life will be held at The Robert Morris Inn in Oxford immediately following the service. The family would like to thank everyone at Blakehurst, Gilcrest Hospice and all of Ed's caregivers especially Debbie, Judy and Addie for the special care they faithfully gave to Ed. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The National Boy Scouts of America Foundation, 1325 W. Walnut Lane, Irvin, Texas 75015-2079 or the Talbot Hospice Foundation, 586 Cynwood Drive Easton, MD. 21601 or to the . Arrangements are being handled by Fellows, Helfenbein & Newnam Funeral Home, P.A., Easton. For online tributes, please visit www.fhnfuneralhome.com.

Published in NewsZapMD on Nov. 29, 2013
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