James Lee Covert, age 82, passed away in Atwater, California on November 5, 2018. He was born February 13, 1936 in Calvin, North Dakota, the third son and middle child of Torrey Covert and Marta Boldt Covert.
Jim spent much of his childhood having adventures with his siblings in Mt. Shasta, California but settled in Atwater in the late 1940’s - early 1950’s where he spent most of his adult life, interrupted by an approximately 15 year interlude in San Jose raising his family.
Jim was always an avid sports fan growing up, and he excelled at baseball while at Livingston High in the early 1950’s. He was signed to a minor league contract out of high school with the Phoenix Stars, a farm team in the Arizona-Texas League. Unfortunately, Jim’s dreams of Major League Baseball stardom were derailed by injury. Following his recovery, he continued to play semi-pro softball, enjoying the comradery of team sports for several years. He was a follower of the A’s and a big fan of Rollie Fingers and Jim “Catfish Hunter” while introducing his kids to a love of sports. Duct tape was also important to Jim. In our family, its number one purpose was to make baseballs with duct tape wrapped paper towels. Kids and grandkids, nieces and nephews all had an at bat or two. On weekends, Jim really enjoyed including his kids in home projects and yard work, amazingly having just enough patience to put up with their “help”.
The grocery business was Jim’s vocation, both in the Atwater area and San Jose. He started as a bagger/stocker and worked his way to store manager when he was still a young father. He also worked for Oroweat and just before retirement, Nabisco, a very popular choice for Jim’s grandchildren who loved the Cheez Whiz and seasonal Oreos he always had on hand. He was active in Atwater’s social life and always enjoyed watching the 4th of July Parade with family and friends from his mom’s front yard on Atwater Blvd. Many of the family’s best memories occurred while houseboating, fishing and swimming in Lake McClure.
Jim is survived by his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren - Julie Demelo and her sons James and Matt of Oceanside, CA; Lisa Cerda and her son Daniel and daughter-n-law Danyele and their daughters Kinley and Emma, and her son Adrian and his daughter Jocelyn all of Madera, CA; and Gary Covert of Atwater and his children Matthew, Amanda, Torrey and Hannah. He is also survived by his loving sister Linda Wellbrock of Grants Pass, OR and many wonderful nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Torrey and Marta, as well as his brothers Ralph “Wendell” Covert, Harold “Lefty” Covert and Nick Covert. Jim and his siblings had a very close bond from childhood well into adulthood and their families have always enjoyed their time together. Jim’s family can just imagine the three oldest brothers shagging flyballs hit by their youngest brother into Heaven’s outfield.
A private celebration of Jim’s life will be held with immediate family and close friends.