Alpheus McCullen Covington M.D., age 93, departed this earth to join his Lord on October 13, 2012 in Rockingham NC. He was born in Richmond County on August 16, 1919, the son of John Walter Covington, Sr. and Emma Bryan McCullen. He graduated from Rockingham High School in 1936. He enrolled at Wofford College, earned an athletic scholarship and lettered in both track and football. Active in student government, he was also a member of the South Carolina collegiate football team. A member of ROTC, he was commissioned in 1940. During WW2, he served his country honorably for four years in the Infantry and Air Force. He was a member of the DAV and American Legion.
His medical education was completed at Duke University Medical Center, followed by a surgery residency at Duke and Carolina Medical Centers.
Returning to his home town of Rockingham, he served as Chief of the Surgical Staff at Richmond Memorial Hospital for many years. Dr. Covington retired in 2004 after a long and distinguished career spanning 50 years, having performed thousands of procedures. He was loved by his patients, his office staff and the hospital staff. He was a member of the Southern Medical Association, Southeastern Surgical Congress, and the International College of Surgeons. He was active throughout his life with the Duke Medical Alumnae Association, serving as its president in 1974. He was a charter member of the Davidson Club and the Iron Dukes.
Dr. Covington served as the president of the Farmers Bank and Trust Company and was on the Board of Directors of the Southern National Bank for 30 years, prior to its merger with Branch Bank and Trust. An active member of First United Methodist Church since 1929, he taught Sunday school for the Alan Smith Class for many years.
His first wife of forty-seven years, Virginia Bright Carter Covington, predeceased him on January 26, 1995. His son, John Wesley Covington of Hillsborough NC, also predeceased him on February 3, 2010. He is survived by his daughter Cullen Covington Hicks and her husband Ed of Asheville, NC and his daughter-in-law Marsha Saunders Covington of Hillsborough, NC. Grandchildren include Skyler Hollingsworth Covington and wife Erica of Florence, SC, Dr. Virginia Lauryl Tucker and husband Adam of Sewanee, TN, Summer Vann Covington and her partner Sherri Bean of Asheville, NC. Great grandchildren include Gracen and Owen Covington, and Ian Elias Tucker.
He married Peggy Plexico Leak in 1997, who survives him. Step-children include Hal Leak and wife Ann of Whispering Pines, NC, Mary Jane Bankhead and husband David of Rockingham, NC, and Tommy C. Leak of Rockingham. Step-grandchildren include David Bankhead and Anna Odom and husband Bradley, and Callen Leak. His step great-grandchild is Graham Odom.
His memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church, Rockingham on Thursday, October 18 at 2:00 pm and graveside immediately following at Eastside Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 637, 410 East Washington Street, Rockingham, NC 28380. In addition to the church, donations could also be directed to Liberty Hospice, 921 East Caswell Street, Wadesboro, NC 28170.
“Bud” as he was affectionately known, will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He was known for his irrepressible sense of humor, his generous heart, and his optimistic nature. He loved to tease and he loved to laugh. He had a strong faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. We were blessed to know him.
Watson-King Funeral Home in Rockingham is assisting Dr. Covington’s family. Online condolences may be sent to www.watson-kingfuneralhome.com.