James Edward "Red Dog" COVINGTON Jr.

HAIRSTON.org ID#5987, b. 23 February 1935, d. 21 January 2016
Father*James Edward COVINGTON1 b. 21 Apr 1891, d. 4 Sep 1977
Mother*Annie Marshall JAMES1 b. 16 Dec 1901, d. 20 Aug 1966
Birth*James Edward "Red Dog" COVINGTON Jr. was born on 23 February 1935 in Richmond, Virginia.1 
He was the son of James Edward COVINGTON and Annie Marshall JAMES.1 
Census 1940James Edward "Red Dog" COVINGTON Jr. appeared on the 1940 census of James Edward COVINGTON on 16 May 1940 in Henrico Co., Virginia.2

Death*James Edward "Red Dog" COVINGTON Jr. died on 21 January 2016 at age 80.1 
Obituary*James Edward Covington, Jr.

COVINGTON, James Edward Jr., affectionately known to family, friends and colleagues as "Red Dog," passed away January 21, 2016. He was at home and surrounded by his family. Red Dog was born February 23, 1935 in Richmond, Va. He was the youngest of the three children of James Edward Covington and Annie Marshall James Covington. For the first four years of his life, the family lived in Shanghai, China, where his father bought tobacco for Universal Leaf. When the Japanese invaded China in WWII, the family moved back to Richmond. In his youth, he spent summers on Beaver Creek Farm, the Hairston family place in Henry County, Va. He worked on the farm and it was there that he first gained his love of the land. Red Dog graduated from St. Christopher's School and then the University of Virginia as an undergraduate and law student. While in law school, he met his wife of 55 years, Jane Elizabeth Ellis. They married in 1961 and after his graduation, the couple moved to Richmond, where he joined the law firm of Williams, Mullen, Christian, Pollard. In 1969, he created The Covington Company, a residential and commercial real estate development company that is still in operation today. Red Dog was involved in his community. He was a long time member of St. Mary's Church, where he served as senior warden several times. He served on the Three Chopt Road Civic Association, where he was instrumental in preserving Bandy Field as a park and, he worked with Middlesex County to bring drinking water to residents. Red Dog was a man of action and he lived totally in the present. If the wind was up, he was on the water, sailing. If the snow was falling, he was skiing on the slopes. And, if the sun was shining, he was on the golf course. If the hounds were speaking, he was astride a horse and not far behind. Indeed, his greatest passion may have been fox hunting; that sport brought together his love of the land, the excitement of the chase, the intrigue of hound work, the close relationship between rider and horse and the camaraderie among his friends and fellow fox hunters. At the Deep Run Hunt Club, he served as Master of Foxhounds twice, once from 1980 to 1985 and a second time from 2001 to present. Among his many roles as Master, he worked hard to ensure that Deep Run would have open country for hunting. Most recently, Red Dog found his way back to summers spent at Beaver Creek Farm. Following a tip from fellow MFH Polly Bance, he learned that Sunnyside Farm in Fluvanna County was up for sale. At the time the farm had not been lived in for several decades; the buildings were in disrepair, and the fields were overgrown to head height. Nonetheless, Red Dog had a vision. He mowed and cleaned up fields, fenced pastures and cleared miles of trails. With the help of his daughter, Janie, he restored barns and outbuildings. Sunnyside also became the center of his land conservation efforts in Fluvanna County; he put easements on land he owned and convinced and guided neighbors through the process. As a result, several thousand acres of land have been protected there. At Sunnyside he could be found on the back of a horse or behind the wheel of a tractor; that was his meditation. Red Dog is survived by his wife, Jane Ellis Covington; his daughter, Elizabeth Marshall Covington; and her sons, Marshall Hairston Humphries and Ellis Covington Humphries; his daughter, Jane Covington Motion and her husband, Andrew; and their daughters, Lillibet and Mary; his son, Jimmy Covington and his wife, Melissa; his sister, Anne Wilson Covington Thompson; as well as nephews, nieces, great-nephews and great-nieces. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. on Thursday, January 28, at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 12291 River Rd., Goochland County. In lieu of flowers, please send gifts to St. Mary's Church and to St. Christopher's School Foundation. 

Sources (www.HAIRSTON.org)

  1. [S257] Obituary attached to this record.
  2. [S1940] 1940 Federal Census - National Archives and Records Administration - Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.
Last Edited23 Jul 2019