James Hunt Covey
September 28, 1930 - December 12, 2010
James Hunt Covey, 80, passed away December 12, 2010. He was born Sept. 28, 1930 in Coudersport, PA. He is survived by his devoted wife of 58 years, Elsie; sister, Dr. Candace Covey Weir, and husband Robert, of Bellefonte, PA.; four children, Hope, of Snohomish, WA; Holly, of Greenwood, DE; Christopher and wife Tami, of Renton, WA., and Todd, of Snohomish, WA.; beloved granddaughters Rebecca Garcia-Gutierrez, Tiffanie, and Victoria; great-grandchildren Cassandra Garcia, Melissa Garcia, and Anthony Garcia.
He attended Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA; Drexel Institute of Technology, Philadelphia, PA; and graduated in 1960 from Lock Haven University, Lock Haven, PA., with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Mathematics with a Pennsylvania State Teaching Certificate. He was a founding father of the Alpha Alpha chapter of Kappa Delta Rho fraternity while at Lock Haven.
He proudly served in the U.S. Army at Fort Jackson, S.C., obtaining the rank of Private, First Class, as an instructor to incoming soldiers in repairing and operating Army jeeps.
He was a Senior Engineer for the Boeing Aerospace Company, a member of SPEEA; and had a long, productive career with the company, starting in 1960 and retiring in 1997. He was a pioneer in designing and testing many innovative aerospace products and procedures, and held over 100 patents, seven of which are in his name alone. One of his proudest moments at Boeing was developing lightning strike protection for the composite materials used in the B-2 Bomber program. He also was instrumental in developing lightning strike protection, spark protection, and passenger windows on commercial airplanes, one design which will now be used in the 787 Dreamliner. He was instrumental in creating and testing a deploy mechanism for the Lunar Rover, a part of the successful Apollo mission that landed man on the moon, and was honored by NASA and personally thanked by the astronauts of that mission, which was one of the finest moments of his life.
Another great moment in Jim’s life was obtaining his private pilot’s license, a lifelong dream. He restored antique airplanes and flew them solo across the United States and Canada.
He owned a commercial sawmill which he operated for over 38 years in the Snohomish community. He was a long-time member of the Washington State Grange, Happy Valley Chapter #322; the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, American Legion Post #96 in Snohomish, the Snohomish County Cattleman’s Association, and the American Angus Association.
He was very active along with his wife in breeding and raising of National Champion registered Angus cattle, and farming hay on their Alderhurst Farm in Snohomish.
He was an engineer, educator, inventor, chemist, pilot, mathematician, historian, carpenter, mechanic, welder, builder, farmer, and sailor, and did it all with honesty, generosity, and intelligence. Jim was a community resource and his many friends knew they could ask him anything about farming, mechanical, or engineering problems and get an intelligent, creative and workable solution. He was extremely environmentally conscious, and recycled material from his sawmill, farm, and engineering endeavors for well over 40 years, and taught others to recycle and reuse as well. In addition, he had a great sense of humor and told many jokes, could talk to anyone from any walk of life, and was completely devoted to his wife and family to the very end of his life.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances are requested to the scholarship fund of the Snohomish County Cattleman’s Association, 6603 - 275th SE, Monroe, WA 98272.