In Memoriam

- James Richard Cove -




Dick Cove Passes Away

Uncle Dick Cove who married into the Gardner family way back in the early 1950s has passed away.  He was married to Elinor Gardner, the second youngest member of the "Original Gang of Ten" who has been deceased for quite a few years now.

Dick has made many contributions to the Gardner family over the years.  He will be best remembered for his quick wit, his conversational skills, and his extensive knowledge of the Bible expressed best when he was teaching Sunday School.  He was a wonderful master of ceremonies at many Gardner family events; and because of him ,those events were turned into memorable occasions.  Grandpa Gardner's 90th birthday party back in 1977 comes to mind as one of those events where he officiated as master of ceremonies.

Please keep Dick's children, Chris and Nancy (and their children), in your thoughts and prayers  as you read this.

Here is Dick's obituary as published in the Rochester Democrat And Chronicle:

Auburn/Rochester: Died Feb. 23, 2008. Predeceased by his wife, Eleanor Joyce Cove, and his brothers, Charles and Jack Cove. He is survived by his son, Christopher Cove, M.D., daughter-in-law, Lisa Cove and grandsons, Alexander, Zachery and Matthew Cove of Rochester; daughter Nancy Whitney, son-in-law, Rev. Daniel Whitney and grandsons, Jonathan and Gregory Whitney of NH; his twin sister, Nancy Newsletter and younger sister, Iris Cove; many nieces, nephews and friends. Dick was a long-standing resident of Auburn, NY, retired Superintendent of Production at Carrier Air Conditioning Corp. of Syracuse, NY, and a co-founding director of the The Wounded Healers Bereavement Group of Auburn.
Family and friends will gather Thursday evening, 6:30 PM at St. Thomas More Church, 2618 East Ave. for a Service celebrating his life. Rev. Lee Chase and Rev. Daniel Whitney officiating.
His family wishes to thank the staff at Lifetime Care, Home and Hospice Care, and the Journey Home Hospice for their support and care during this difficult time. Expressions of sympathy may be sent in his memory to Journey Home, 994 Long Pond Road, Rochester, NY 14626.

Ref: Schauman-Sulewski Funeral Home
Published in the Rochester Democrat And Chronicle from 2/25/2008 - 2/28/2008.


Eulogy by Rev. Dan Whitney (Dick Cove's son-in-law)

James Richard Cove was born to Charles Howard and Amanda Barnard Cove on June 16, 1923, at almost the same time as his sister, Nancy Jean. Older brothers Charles and Jack were already a part of the Lowell, MA family, and Iris was soon to be born, but not before tragedy struck the family.  Dick’s father died when Dick was only two years old. 

The Coves did well enough for a few years, but the combination of dwindling resources and the onset of the Great Depression soon led to the fragmentation of the family unit.
  The two eldest boys were able to survive on their own, but the three youngest were placed in the Faith Home for Children while Amanda secured a live-in job at a nearby institution. Dick would often recount stories from those days, days of privation, insecurity, inadequate food, and adolescent rivalry.  Eventually he was able to attend Wilbraham Academy on scholarship, and after that, Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy Mass, where several extended family members were on the faculty.

It was at ENC that he met Elinor Joyce Gardiner, of
East Charleston, Vermont.  Elinor was an honors student from an isolated corner of the world, and Dick was a dashing young man with street smarts and more than a little daring.  In August of 1953 or 54(?), Dick drove with best man Bob Lord up to East Charleston to claim the girl of his dreams at God’s altar.

The young couple moved to Upstate New York, and eventually settled in
Auburn, New York.  Together, they raised Nancy Joyce and Christopher Jack along with a host of cats and dogs.  Elinor worked as a school teacher and Dick was foreman at the Carrier Air Conditioning plant in Syracuse, New York.  They were faithful and active members of the Church of the Nazarene, a core component of the church’s unofficial compassionate ministries team.  Dick worked with teens and took care of people who were in trouble.  He visited the prisons and helped people wherever he found them. A liberal Democrat, he believed that not only the government, but everyone should do whatever they could to help others.  He put that belief into action throughout his life.

In 1989, Dick’s beloved Elinor passed away suddenly.
  He was left floundering and never seemed to recover from this devastating blow. Dick became active in the Wounded Healers Bereavement Support Group in the years following the loss of his wife. .  The arrival of his grandchildren helped fill the void, but nothing could ever replace Elinor. 

Dick was a frequent visitor to the Whitney home in LaFargeville New York
.  When his first grandson was born, his joy was contagious.  He spent many hours playing Goliath to Jonathan’s David, along with pushing Greg in his toy car.

Dick attention turned to Cleveland when Chris and Lisa brought twin boys into the world, and eventually, he sold his home and moved in with them here in Rochester
.  He sensed the contribution he was able to make to their busy household, now that Alexander, Zachery and Matthew were on the scene.    Those grandchildren were a powerful attraction – and he played actively with all of them well into his 80’s.

Just a few days ago he transcended a long struggle with cancer.
  He donated his body to scientific research, which is why we are alone in the sanctuary today.  He died unselfishly, just as he lived.

Looking back across the 30 years I had the privilege to know Dick, I am so grateful for the chance to have a friend like him. I always knew Dick was in my corner.

Dick was a hopeless romantic who honestly endeavored to bring joy into people’s lives, regardless of his own struggles.

I’ve listened to his stories by the hour – about the time during the carrier strike when his little Volkswagen got stuck in the snow as he was trying to cross the picket line.
  The hourly guys pushed him through the line.

          -- About the time in New Haven when he got stuck with the rack of suits and was afraid the mob was after him.
          -- About the times he promoted guys that no one else believed in.
          -- About the time his Uncle Arthur sent the Lowell police with him to help him collect his paper route money
          -- About the time he found the gun in the Faith Home, and about the donut stealing.
          -- About his antics promoting musical artists in Boston during his college years.
          -- About the time papa told the horse to stand up straight – and Dick thought he was yelling at him.

We’ve played Password and Upwords, bid tricks and beach tennis.
  Sometimes I let him win.

I was a vocal music major in college when I met Dick.
  He knew more about opera till the day he died than I ever will.

During the years I was pastoring in New York, during the days before Matthew and Zachery were born, we had a special ritual we used to observe.
  When it was time for a spiritual retreat for me, I would drive down to Auburn on a Sunday night. We would chat and watch Kojak or Mash, and eventually go to sleep.  In the morning, he’d have breakfast waiting for me when I woke up, and then I was off to the church for a day of prayer and silence and scripture.  At evening, I would return and we would go out to eat together and talk and tell stories.  Then I was off for home.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed those times.
  Dick was a significant influence in my life in many ways.   I loved hearing him talk politics, and sports, literature, and religion. I am so grateful I had the chance to be his friend

The gospel reading we heard a few minutes ago tells the story of another funeral scene
  – another story of two friends.  Jesus is called to the home of his dear friend Lazarus.  Scripture tells us the call came while Lazarus was still alive, and for some reason, Jesus drags his feet before responding to the family’s call.

By the time Jesus arrives, Lazarus is dead, and his family is asking questions.

Jesus tells Lazarus’s sister that she can trust him, because He is the resurrection.
  Then he asks her if she believes this . . .  (He’s asking us the same question – Do we really believe?)

The scene is riveting.

Jesus is standing in front of Lazarus’ tomb.
  Scripture says, he is weeping.  Jesus wept – We’ve heard those words – but more is there, emotionally in the original language.

Trembling violently. Jesus isn’t reacting simply to Lazarus’ death. He’s weeping at what Death does to all of his children. He knows in just a few minutes that Lazarus is going to walk out of that tomb in response to his words.  But in just a few years, Lazarus would die again.

            NO, this event is much more than just the raising of Lazarus. 

            Jesus is putting death on notice.

            He is throwing down a gauntlet.

            Death may have some power for the time being – but he, Jesus is headed to Jerusalem, and he will strip death of its power - once and for all.

Our hope today is that because, by the power of God, Jesus was raised from the dead – the first fruits – the prototype – that the same thing will happen to us , all of us who through faith and baptism and Christian witness proclaim Christ as our Lord --

To all of us who--

                   *     live as salt and light in this world
                   *    Walk daily with the Holy Spirit
                   *    Nurture the abundant life we have in Christ.

But Jesus didn’t come simply to rescue us from death – not by any means.

John 10-10 records Jesus as saying, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

Abundant life is in view –

This life we are given in Christ is supposed to be one of meaning and significance.  As we embrace the mission of Christ - -to be salt and light – care for the poor, the sick the needy the dying, the captives – we have the privilege of sharing in the ministry of Christ here and now.

This anchors our lives – makes them truly significant.  By this measure, Dick lived a significant life, indeed.

We live in a distracted society – one obsessed with pleasure and possessions, one seduced by the illusion that it can provide its own security.

To really live, you must have life now and life later – significance now, significance later.

          God created us for life – real life!  Don’t’ settle for any cheap imitation.

          Don’t run a rat race that leaves you, at the end of your life -- in a corner with a small piece of cheese.

          Dive in to the kingdom – embrace Christ – submit to His leadership –

          Get to the starting line any way you can –

And then run the race marked out for with perseverance –knowing that Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith waits at the finish line, cheering you on, waiting to receive you to himself, to place the victor’s crown our your head.

Dick’s race is finished.
  About now most of us should be hitting our stride.  A few of you are still in the first lap.  Don’t give up – Throw off every sin that entangles you – and run for the prize.  It will be worth it, when you see Jesus for yourself.

Click here to see the program for Uncle Dick's memorial service.

 *** Click on the link below to go to Chris Cove's blog about his dad. ***


Cousin Dick Metcalf remembers Uncle Dick ....


"SO sorry to hear about Dick Cove's passing on! He was a great inspiration to me in many ways! I remember, in particular, a trip I took to his home (with a follow-on to Vermont and back) in the early 1960's. He shared many things with me, but the one thing that impressed me most was his love of "big-band jazz"... I still remember my first exposure to his Woody Herman albums at his home. His thoughts and ideas about music had a lot to do with my pursuit (in later years) of jazz and blues; had he not shared that with me, I wouldn't have become as interested in it as I did. To all of his family, my sincere sympathies!"


Uncle Dick's family would appreciate reading your special memory of him.  Please send them to the Gardner Newsletter (through Greta's Interactive Page) or regular mail/e-mail and we'll post them on Elinor's page.  Thank you.


Click here to go to Elinor's page.

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