W. Roderic Covey

CANTON, Ohio – W. Roderic Covey, 91, of North Canton, Ohio, passed away Jan. 15, 2021, in his home after a brief illness.

Born in Martin’s Ferry, Ohio to Robert and Elizabeth (Call) Covey, Rod graduated from high school at age 17, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving as a Pharmacist’s Mate at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. He graduated from The Ohio State University (OSU), earning a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. He served as President of the OSU Wesleyan Foundation and sang in the Ohio State Glee Club and Quartet. He carried his penchant for singing into all aspects of his life and was always willing to sing to an audience.

Upon graduation from OSU, Mr. Covey was recruited to relocate in Canton, Ohio to work for The Timken Company. He then worked a couple years at an ad agency in Cleveland, OH and, in 1967, founded his own company in advertising, marketing and public relations known as Covey and Koons, Inc.

Mr. Covey led a life of service, devoted to numerous community organizations including Scouting, Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival, Canton Advertising Club (Ad Man of the Year in 1968) and the Allegheny Nation Indian Center in Canton. Rod served as President of the Stark County Hunger Task Force. He provided fundraising to Friends of the N. Canton Library and to Cripple Creek Ferals and Friends. He was involved in the creation of the N. Canton Veterans’ Memorial, and he served as Grand Marshall of the N. Canton Memorial Day Parade in 2013. He encouraged and assisted World War II and Vietnam veterans in publishing their stories for posterity.

Mr. Covey was instrumental in preserving a magnificent Cucumber Magnolia Tree which was threatened to be removed by his condominium association. He brought in arborists and lobbied neighbors and fought the hard battle and lawsuits. It has been dated to be more than 435-years old and determined to be the largest and oldest of its species in the world. It ranks as one of the 11 National Champion Big Trees in Ohio. The tree is now listed as a world heritage tree. Mr. Covey acted as docent for the tree and more than 3,000 people from seven countries have visited its splendor. Mr. Covey especially enjoyed meeting with the visitors, welcoming many into his home, and providing hands-on education for all.

Mr. Covey had a charismatic personality, was a playful grandfather, and demonstrated a life of love and service, living with his motto of Family, God and Country, in that order. He always jumped at the chance to help strangers and especially enjoyed helping women load groceries into their cars. He was a scholar and a gentleman. He took great pride in his children and grandchildren and his personal values are firmly embedded in his legacies. He was admired and will be deeply missed by all who enjoyed him.

He was preceded in death by four siblings, and by his wife, June (Holliday) Covey and his children’s mother, Patricia (Wylie) Covey.

He is survived by his three children, Rod A. (Kathie) Covey, Craig Covey and Lisa (Burgher) Covey of Winslow, Maine; grandchildren Ashley Covey, Brandon (Brittany Lasorella) Covey and Justin Burgher of Wellesley, Mass.; his brother Richard (Elvira) Covey of Jacksonville, Fla.; several nieces and nephews; three generations of stepchildren and by his beloved, 12-year-old Sir Thomas the Cat. Thomas now resides in Winslow, Maine with daughter, Lisa.

CCFF introduced Sir Thomas to Rod when he lost his wife 10 years ago. Messages of love and support may be left at http://www.arnoldfuneralhome.com.

There will be no service at this time; a memorial service will be held later.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Cripple Creek Ferals

and Friends

P.O. Box 172,

Uniontown, OH 44685

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