Jun 8, 2022
Michael Averill Covell passed away suddenly on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. Mike was born in Los Angeles, CA on October 10, 1939 and studied engineering at Tufts University. From his commissioning in 1961, he served his country in the US Navy for 30 years rising to the rank of Captain. Among his many notable Navy achievements, Mike commanded the nuclear powered submarine USS Sand Lance (SSN-660), was Commodore of Submarine Squadron 22 in La Maddalena, Italy, and was awarded the Legion of Merit four times. Following his distinguished naval career, Mike’s enjoyed a second career in the nuclear energy business.
Upon “retiring” to Flat Rock, he threw himself thoroughly into serving his fellow parishioners of St. John in the Wilderness Episcopal Church. His commitments there included eucharistic minister, senior warden, and golf cart driver. He also gave time and energy to numerous local and national causes he valued.  He did this to a degree far beyond most people.  It wasn’t a matter of “keeping busy” for Mike. Following his service to the country, he dedicated himself to being a faithful servant of the Lord and to be helpful to all both at home and abroad. He worked tirelessly for numerous organizations including the Lions Club, NC Military Officers Association of America, the Flat Rock Playhouse, the Moldova World Children’s Fund, his neighborhood association, and the Tryon Equestrian Center…just to name a few. On top of that he was always so considerate and loving with family and friends.  Mike never missed sending Valentines and birthday wishes to family including his sisters-in-law. His Border Collies will miss Mike’s kindness and love of nature as they remember their long walks and herding sheep. Mike even found time to become a Master Gardener in Hendersonville.
Mike and Joanie have been in love like two peas in a pod for almost 50 years. They have been blessed to travel the country and the world with family and friends across Europe, Asia, North and South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Africa.
Mike is preceeded by his parents Joseph Noblett Covell and Lorraine Averill Ames of Los Angeles, CA, his brother Kenneth Covell of Colorado Springs, CO, and his son Thomas Covell of Denver, CO.
Mike is survived by his wife of 47 years, Joan Leverton Covell of Flat Rock, NC, sister Linda Covell Golovko (Kos) of La Canada, CA, brother Lawrence Covell (Cathy) of Castle Rock, CO, daughter Sharon Lees Hayes (Bruce) of Tinton Falls, NJ, son James Wilson Lees (Allison) of Summit, NJ; son Edward Covell of Denver, CO; seven grandchildren (Katie Hayes Stengel (Matthew), Natalie Hayes, Maggie Lees, Sophie Lees, Wilson Lees, Catherine Lees and Quentin Lees); and one great grandchild (Avery Bell Stengel).
A celebration of life service will be at 1:00 pm Saturday, June 18, 2022 at St. John in the Wilderness Episcopal church Flat Rock, NC
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Moldova World Children’s Fund, Inc, PO Box 548, Hendersonville, NC 29793-0548.