Samuel Covington

August 09, 1931, June 28, 2018

Samuel Covington

Battling bravely multiple medical issues over the past many years, Samuel Covington, a long -time resident of Port Arthur, went to be with his Lord and Savior in the early morning hours of June 28, 2018.

Sam was born a ten-pound baby in Atlanta, Georgia on August 9, 1931 in a frame house located on what is today the campus of Georgia Tech University, to Benjamin and Carolyn Covington. His earliest memories were of living on a farm in Coffeyville, Mississippi during the Great Depression. Through what can only be the patina of the past, he remembered fondly a house without electricity, fetching water from the spring in the back, and hitching the mule team to the wagon to go into town on Saturdays.

With moving to Port Arthur still as a young boy, Sam entered into Port Arthur public schools, graduating a proud Yellow Jacket from Port Arthur Thomas Jefferson in 1950, just as war erupted on the Korean peninsula. Anticipating greetings from his neighbors and an inevitable summons from his Uncle Sam, Covington enlisted in the United States Air Force, in which he served honorably for four years while stationed in Japan.

Returning home from Japan, Sam enrolled in series in the then Lamar Tech, the University of Houston, and eventually, in the prestigious Pasadena Playhouse in California, where he pursued the craft of theatre. His resume generated while at the Playhouse is impressive, including credits for example, as the eponymous character in Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt”. He is well remembered for his deeply rich, but authoritative, stentorian, speaking voice, which in his later career as a minister, caused just a little bit of jealousy among his preaching brethren.

While in California, Sam married Marga Hoelscher, a remarkable woman of simple grace but indomitable character whose gifts complemented Sam’s. They returned to Port Arthur to raise a family of five children who survive them today: their oldest son, Dr. Aaron Covington of Nederland; a daughter, Diane McKee and her husband Don, of Corpus Christi; another son, Marc, and his wife Denise of Port Arthur; a son, Roger, and his wife Dana of Orange, Texas; and lastly, a daughter, Lauri Grantham and her husband Gary of Russellville, Arkansas.

Sam is also survived by his older brother, Gordon Covington, late of San Marcus, Texas. He is also survived by a rather spectacular spangle of assorted relations ladled liberally throughout the land, including fourteen grandchildren, fifteen great-grandchildren, and a healthy leavening of cousins, nieces and nephews who will cherish their memories of him.

Mr. Covington was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Marga; his parents, Benjamin and Carolyn; an older brother, Delton Covington; and a great-grandson, Tyrell Sonnier.

At the time of his death Mr. Covington was retired an ordained minister of the Church of God, with the Port Arthur First Church of God on Jimmy Johnson Boulevard serving as his home base. Earlier in his career he served congregations in Port Arthur, High Island, and Deweyville as a locally licensed United Methodist minister.

For local patrons of the Arts, Sam will be well remembered for the deep footprint he left on the community and professional theatre scene across Southeast Texas. In a theatre career spanning seven decades, commencing with acting in Port Arthur Little Theatre shows first performed in the Abshire barn in Griffing Park, to shows in the new millennium, Sam acted in, directed, produced, or otherwise contributed to the success of literally hundreds of productions in all genres and formats. The scope and quality of this corpus of work is staggering. More mature audiences will remember his direction of the thriller “Wait Until Dark” in the 1960’s which broke then box office records for the Port Arthur Little Theatre. Other successful directorial projects include “Hat Full of Rain”, “Tribute”, and “The Oldest Living Graduate”. He also attempted musicals, “Carousel “and “South Pacific” being but two. With his good looks he could play equally leading man roles, or conversely create equally well character studies. He performed as Mark Twain in “Big River”, the Pope in a professional production of “Becket”, Mr. Potter in “It’s a Wonderful Life”, and even danced the role of the Austrian President in the “Nutcracker Suite”. Sam, along with Marga, were voted Life Memberships in the Port Arthur Little Theatre in consideration of their myriad profound contributions to that organization.

Broussard’s of Nederland is entrusted with final arrangements. Visitation will be held Saturday, June 30 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at the First Church of God, 3800 Jimmy Johnson Boulevard in Port Arthur. The funeral will be held immediately at 4:00 at the Church. Burial will be in Greenlawn Memorial Park, Groves.

Pallbearers will be five grandsons: Samuel Paul Covington; John Covington, Caleb Covington, Cameron Covington, Brandon McKee; and a great-grandson, Zack Covington.

The family wishes to thank the staffs of College Street Health Care, Kindred Hospice, and of Beaumont Baptist Hospital for their incredible support and kindness during the recent travail.

In lieu of flowers, persons wishing to make a donation to the Hope Women’s Resource Clinic, located at 3740 Laurel in Beaumont, Texas are encouraged to do so. Those who desire such may peruse the clinic’s website at to discover how best to give.


Broussard's Mortuary
Broussard's Mortuary - Nederland, TX
505 N 12th Street Nederland, TX 77627
Gathering of Family and Friends
First Church of God - Port Arthur
3800 Jimmy Johnson Blvd, Port Arthur, Texas 77642
Saturday, June 30, 2018
2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Funeral Service
First Church of God
3800 Jimmy Johnson Blvd, Port Arthur, Texas 77642
Saturday, June 30, 2018
4:00 p.m.
Greenlawn Memorial Park - Groves
3900 Twin City Hwy Groves, TX 77619

Comments (3)

  • Brian Cox

    04 July 2018 at 00:48 | #

    I'm sorry for your loss. Praying for your family.


  • R.H.

    30 June 2018 at 15:09 | #

    Our sincere condolence to the Family. When Jesus was on earth he ‘cured every sort of disease and every sort of infirmity.’ Soon he will perform those miracles again on a permanent basis, including resurrecting our dead loved ones. Matthew 9:35; John 5:28; Acts 24:15


  • Karen Paciotti

    30 June 2018 at 14:35 | #

    Aaron, I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautifully written account of an amazing life! I am praying for you and your family as you travel this journey. God bless you and keep His peace within you. In Jesus' name. Amen.


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