In Memory

Richard T Covington - Class Of 1964

Richard T Covington

Richard Covington

November 20, 1946 - July 18, 2020


It is with great sadness that I report the death of my very close high school buddy and classmate, Richard Tunnicliffe Covington. Known as Rick the last 35 years or so and as 'The Bruiser' when we first became pals in high school, Richard lived a full and worthy life. He passed with his wife Claire (known to be the best thing that every happened to Rick) at his side. He had undergone ablation to a coronary artery in July and passed away due to complications from that procedure.

If you were fortunate enough to visit his home about a block from North Lake in Pasadena near that very striking large church, you saw 'The Wall,' which depicted Rick and his many friends and his family on myriad activities including travel all over the world. He taught the sciences at Pasadena High School until retirement, although near the end of his career he was the school's tech guru. What struck me most was toward the very end of his time at PHS he was assigned to 'rescue' the kids on the verge of dropping out or who had just stopped showing up. He expressed discouragement to me that he was saving 'only' about half of them. That's about ten times the average and I told him he should be proud. I hope he was.

Rosemary and I and our daughter Margaret, Ken and Claudia Sperling, Rick and Claire Covington, and Donald Moore, all '64 Tigers, and their families, got together many years to attend the Monterey Jazz Festival - great music, great food and most important, great friends. Rick was a fisherman par excellance. Some of you were lucky enough to fish with him. I hadn't since fishing off the old Aliso pier in Laguna where Rick and I, either in or fresh out of high school, prided ourselves on being exactly the sort of miscreants I now hope do not visit us in Malibu. He and his parents kindly hosted me in Laguna every weekend the summer after we graduated which sure made it a lot easier to see the young lady that was really my first close to serious girl friend. Rick and Robbie Creek '64 and I were driven to Laguna for the day by his folks one day when his dad, whom we all called Big Luke, expressed annoyance at a driver tailgating with his high beams on, on the old Laguna Canyon Road. Three sets of pressed hams caused him to back off with Luke almost hitting the fence he was laughing so hard and his mom Polly shrieking 'RICHARD!'

I'm guessing he had not mooned anyone in decades when he passed, but, the spirit exemplified by that harmless but effective gesture remained with him for a lifetime. To me, he was the very definition of a bitchin' guy. RIP my friend.

Bill Sampson '64