Obituary of William Henry Covey, Sr.
William Henry Covey Sr., age 80, of Chapin, SC, formerly of East Lyme, CT, passed away on January 3, 2023. He was born on September 16,1942 in Lynn, MA to Lewis Main Covey and Blanche Babbitt Covey. Bill was a devoted family man and is survived by his wife of over 40 years, Jean Woodward Covey. He is also survived by his son, William H. Covey, Jr., his daughter in law, Kristy Covey, and his grandchildren, Zeta and Zachary who all live in Chapin, SC and his oldest grandson, Noah Covey of Plymouth, VA. Bill is also survived by his two sisters, Audrey Wilson of Hinsdale NH and her four daughters, Doreen, Debbie, Donna, and Denise, and his other sister, Louise Carr, who lives in Salem, MA with her daughter, Anne Marie. Her son, Scott Carr, who was like another son to Bill, lives in Macedon, NY with his wife, Shelly, and two daughters Sydney and Adyson.
Bill graduated from Lynn English HS in Lynn, MA in 1960. After serving in the Navy, he went to Eastern New Mexico University in Clovis, NM where he earned a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Mathematics and Industrial Arts. After teaching in NM, he returned to his roots in New England. He taught Industrial Arts and was a Department Head in the Montville, CT School System for 30 years.
Bill’s other passion in life was serving as a CT State Auxiliary Trooper. He joined the Auxiliary in 1981 and was assigned to Troop E in Montville. A few years later he transferred to Troop K in Colchester to be their Unit Leader. Bill, KX-1, served in the State Police for over 37 years. He retired in 2018 to follow his son and his family to SC to watch his grandchildren grow up. Bill will be sorely missed by his family and friends.
Bill’s favorite pastime was sports. He was an avid Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots fan. You could always find him watching football and baseball on the TV. Bill was the President of the East Lyme Youth Football League during the time his son played, and he was their announcer. He also coached youth and Babe Ruth Baseball. When his son went to East Lyme HS, he began to announce the High School football games and continued to announce for 25 years. He and his son, Bill, were both inducted into the East Lyme Football Hall of Fame. When his son played Semi-Professional Football for the New England Knights and the CT Thunder, Bill announced for those teams also. He had a gift for knowing exactly what was happening in each game and often made calls even before the referees! In South Carolina he loved to watch his grandson and granddaughter play Lacrosse and his son coach.
Another of Bill ‘s lifelong passions was Amateur Radio. Through the CT State Police Amateur Radio Club, Bill oversaw the deployment of a statewide network of Classic Packet nodes. More recently he coordinated the setup of ten Winlink RMS Gateways around the state. Over many years Bill organized amateur radio support for numerous Public Service events including the O’Niantic 5K, the Niantic Bay Boardwalk 5K, the Mystic Half-Marathon, and the Niantic Bay Triathlon. As the trustee for W1OEM, East Lyme’s Office of Emergency Management amateur radio station, Bill championed amateur radio for emergency and backup communications. He sought grant funding to purchase the CT ARES Region 4 Mobile Comms Unit or “BBOB” - Bill’s Big Orange Box! He outfitted this 14-foot trailer as a complete HF/VHF/UHF voice and data emergency communications platform. He continued to enhance its capabilities with additional equipment including Digital Mobile Radio “Go Boxes” and Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network mesh video equipment. As an enthusiastic and committed volunteer, Bill held several appointed CT ARES leadership positions, including Region 4 District Emergency Coordinator and Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator. Besides amateur radio, Bill has also supported Public Safety emergency communications for the state of Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security), as a valued crew member of the Region 4 Mobile Communications Vehicle.
Upon moving to South Carolina in 2018, Bill became an active member of the Columbia Amateur Radio Club. He was a member of ARES, Richland CERT, and AUXCOMM. Bill was always willing to help those new to the hobby and was regarded as an expert resource by many experienced amateur radio operators as well. Emergency communication was certainly Bill’s passion and he was both an avid advocate and practitioner. At every opportunity, he reminded us that "A diversity of modes is essential to an effective EMCOMM system!” a phrase Bill coined and something we should all embrace. In that regard, Bill was the driving force for the adoption of Winlink within central South Carolina and beyond. He challenged us to learn about it, he made multiple training presentations with multiple groups, and he was always available to help individuals troubleshoot technical issues. In fact, Bill’s node, W1GTT-10, on frequency 145.530 is where most of us learned to pick up our Winlink email. Thanks to Bill, we now have multiple Winlink nodes in place across central SC with more planned. Bill knew, just as we know, when all else fails, AMATEUR RADIO WORKS.
On July 1, 2023, a Celebration of Bill’s Life will be held at his son’s home on Lake Murray. We are hopeful that many of his friends and family from New England and South Carolina will attend.
South Carolina Cremation Society is assisting the family. Family and friends may sign the online guest book by clicking on the “Tribute Wall” tab above.
Proud Members Of