Gene Covington
1928 - 2020
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Gene Covington

Murfreesboro - Gene Covington, 92, transitioned from this life into the next, of natural causes, at Columbus Hospice in Columbus GA. A life-long resident of Tennessee, Eugene Covington was born in 1928 in Rockvale, Tennessee, Rutherford County, to John Nathan Covington and Nora Carlton Covington. The Covington Family was one of the original settlers in the county, coming to the area around the beginning of the 19th century.

Gene is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Rick and Betsy Covington, of Columbus, Georgia, and their children, Becca (Columbus) and Richard Covington (Atlanta). He is also survived by his twin sister, Pauline Covington Brown. In addition to his parents, he is predeceased by his beloved wife of 52 years, Reba Ann Messick Covington, his brother John Warren Covington, and sisters Elaine Martin and Cora Mae Gunter.

Gene attended Rockvale Elementary and Rockvale High School, where he was president of his class for three years. Upon graduating from high school, he entered the US Navy and had specialized training in electronics. After discharge from the Navy, he worked at radio stations in Murfreesboro and Winchester as a radio engineer. He attended Middle Tennessee State College, earning his BS degree in 1958.

After Gene and Reba settled in her hometown of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, he was an early entrant in the field of computer science working for 13 years at Arnold Engineering Development Center and 25 years with IBM, retiring in 1991 as a Senior Systems Engineer. A devotee of science, Gene read physics textbooks to relax; was an early adopter of personal computers; made many recordings of gospel music for friends; and installed and ran the sound systems for his church. Gene was a loyal and active member of Fair Havens Independent Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee for more than 12 years.

During their marriage, Gene and Reba spent a great deal of time traveling with Gospel groups to events through the Southeast. Gene was kind to every person he ever met and was once described by his friends at Fair Havens Independent Baptist Church as "the most loyal friend anyone could ever ask for." He would do anything for anyone and believed honesty was paramount.

In recognition of this extraordinary time in of Covid-19, a private service is being held in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, with Pastor Steve Goforth of Fair Havens Independent Baptist Church officiating.

Gene's family is most appreciative of the fellowship and support that the congregation at Fair Havens has shown Gene for these many years. They are thankful to the staff of HoneyHill Homecare and Stones River Manor in Murfreesboro for extending his treasured independence as long as possible, and to the staff of Columbus Hospice for making Gene's final week on earth a time of peace, calmness and love with his family.

In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome donations to Fair Havens Independent Baptist Church, 1610 Riverview Drive, Murfreesboro, TN 37129. An online guest book is available for the Covington Family at Woodfin Funeral Chapel in Murfreesboro, www.woodfinchapel.com.




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Published in The Daily News Journal from Aug. 3 to Aug. 5, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
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22 entries
August 11, 2020
KATIEGOFORTH
August 11, 2020
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
KATIE GOFORTH
Family
August 5, 2020
I was fortunate to know and learn from Gene for several years in his role with IBM. He was so bright and capable at anticipating our future needs and so represented integrity that we just knew if Gene said it - it was to be trusted. I also greatly appreciated his humor. My sympathies to the family for the loss of such a fine, kind and considerate person.
Kent Freeman
Friend
August 4, 2020
Bro Gene was a delightful friend and committed Christian. I never heard him speak a harsh or negative word. Any time I needed something he was always ready to help. When I started attending Fair Havens and begin singing specials in the service I only had cassette tapes to sing with. Each time I was to sing he would take my cassette and make a CD of it and never wanted anything for doing it and I had several that he did for me. I will miss him greatly. I'm sure heard our Lord say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant".
George Snyder
Friend
August 4, 2020
Rick and Family,

I was honored and blessed to have the opportunity to have your father as my Systems Engineer for a few years. Gene was kind, thorough and really cared about his customer as a business and the people he worked with as individuals. He was always calm, detailed, and knowledgeable. He earned the title of Prophet Gene with us because he would predict what our next problem was going to be. I counted him as a friend and mentor.

Buddy Pickler
Buddy Pickler
Friend
August 4, 2020
I’m so sorry to learn of Gene’s passing. He was an extraordinary IBM SE and even more extraordinary person. I learned so much from Gene about computers and life. He will definitely be missed. I know he is at peace and with his loving wife, Reba, and his Lord, Jesus Christ. I pray for peace and comfort for the family.
Charles Levy
Friend
August 4, 2020
Rick, Betsy, Becca, and Richard;
Lynne and I are sorry for your loss but celebrate with you Gene’s wonderful life. He grew up with my dad, Charles, and my uncle, James, in Rockvale. Those early years established my dad’s lifelong admiration for the great, kind, brilliant man that he was. As you recall your dad was one of the last people my father visited before he passed last year, and that visit was indeed memorable for all of us. May the comfort of Christ surround you all in this time.
Jeff Carlton
Family
August 4, 2020
I first met and worked with Gene in 1970, when I joined IBM in Nashville. After he retired, I enjoyed seeing him a couple of times a year at retiree luncheons, until his health no longer allowed him to attend.

Gene had a great sense of humor and I still laugh every time I think of Gene and his recitation of “The Pee Little Thrigs”. I’m so grateful that Dave and I got to see Gene a few months ago at the Nursing Home in Murfreesboro. He was alert, funny and talkative as always.

Of all the colleagues I had at IBM, Gene will forever remain one of my most admired and respected friends.
Jerry Scott
Friend
August 4, 2020
Rick, I was blessed to have worked with your father at IBM for many years. Gene truly cared for his fellow IBM employees, and he truly cared for his IBM customers. His calm and quiet excellence in critical situations was exemplary, and we all admired and loved him. Thanks be to our Lord for Gene’s significant positive impact on our lives. My prayers are with you and your family.
Jim Shackleford
August 4, 2020
Rick, I worked with your father and with you during my early years at IBM and always appreciated his kindness and willingness to help whenever needed. I send you and your family prayers of comfort at this time.
Ann Griffin Brooks
August 4, 2020
Rick and Family, I have many fond memories of working with Gene (and Rick) at IBM. I will never forget Gene’s kindness, patience and calmness, in particular.

Gene and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, especially during this time. I hope you can collectively enjoy celebrating Gene’s rich life.

God bless Gene and each of you.
Jeff Ford
Friend
August 4, 2020
Dear family members of Gene,
I pray God‘s wonderous grace and love upon you as you mourn. May your many memories of Gene Comfort you knowing that he is now in God‘s loving arms.
Mack Jean
A former associate and friend of Gene
IBM Nashville
Mack Jean
Coworker
August 3, 2020
Bro Gene was the most giving and kind hearted man. I will always cherish the gospel nights at Farmer's with the whole group. He had so many stories and I loved to hear him laugh. I am honored to have called him my friend.
Kasie Powers
Friend
August 3, 2020
Gene was one of the sweetest and most caring man I’ve ever known. I’m so glad I was able to go to church with him for several years. He truly served God and showed his love for Jesus through all of his kindness showed to others.
Debbie Adams
Friend
August 3, 2020
Mrs. Elizabeth Jimerson and son Wendell
Gene was such a special Christian and friend of the family for years. I was so blessed to have spent much of my life with Gene, Reba and Joe. I’m looking forward to eternity with them.❤❤❤
Wendell Jimerson
Friend
August 3, 2020
Dottie Caldwell
Friend
August 3, 2020
I have had the privilege of knowing Gene and Reba since 1981, when I first served as their pastor. They were a special couple. Gene was a man of few words, but filled with wisdom. He had a servant’s heart and genuinely cared about others. They didn’t come any better than Gene Covington! We are praying for Rick, Betsy and the family.
Rick Flowers
Friend
August 3, 2020
My Uncle was a very kind and gentle man.He always made me want to be the best person I could be.He was much loved.I'll miss you .
Rachel Peters
Family
August 3, 2020
My Uncle was such a kind and gentle man.He always made me want to be the best person I could be.I loved him very much and I will miss him.
Rachel Peters
Family
August 3, 2020
Gene was one of the kindest men I have ever know. My husband and I enjoyed so many great times with him and Reba. He will be greatly missed.❤❤
Gale Lewis
Friend
August 3, 2020
Rick and family,
I am so sorry to hear of your father's passing.
Sending prayers of peace to all.
Sincerely,
Beth Blasingame
Beth Blasingame
Friend
August 3, 2020
Every word in the obituary described the Gene that I knew. I was Receptionist at the Computer Room entrance at Arnold Engineering Center when I first became acquainted with him. Later I got to know him better through my friendship with his beloved Reba...She and I were in the same Business Women’s Club where I met and chatted with Gene at various social functions and other times our paths crossed. I was always so impressed with his computer knowledge/skills as well as his Southern
Gentleman manners!
My sincere sympathy to the family of a great man who enjoyed the life he lived!
May God bless you and may the memories outlast the pain if grief!
Faye Elam
Coworker
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