Cover photo for Dennis R. Covington's Obituary
Dennis R. Covington Profile Photo

Dennis R. Covington

October 30, 1948 — April 14, 2024


Dennis R. Covington

Dennis R. Covington, 75, of Lubbock, award winning author and retired university professor, passed away with his characteristic smirk on Sunday, April 14, 2024 at Callander House-South.   He was born on October 30, 1948, in Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, the youngest child of the late Sam Scott Covington and Ellaree Herndon (Russell) Covington.

He attended Birmingham, Alabama city schools and graduated from Woodlawn High School in 1966. After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Virginia where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree.  Seeing that he was going to be drafted due to his low draft number, he joined the US Army in 1970, serving as a clerk typist at Fort Polk (now Fort Johnson), Louisiana.   Once he completed his tour of duty, he attended the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop, obtaining his MFA while studying under renowned author Raymond Carver.  

Dennis’s decades long teaching career took him to the College of Wooster, Miles College, University of Alabama, and Texas Tech University, as well as a visiting writer at several universities.  He retired from Texas Tech University in 2017.  Over the decades, Dennis was passionate about mentoring his students and providing them with support and encouragement.  

In addition to his long teaching career, Dennis worked as a freelance journalist, covering stories such as the civil war in El Salvador in the 1980s and the kidnapping case of Carrie Lawson in the early 1990s.  He also contributed to numerous publications including the New York Times, Birmingham News, Redbook, Vogue, and the American Scholar.  Dennis lived for adventure, even if it meant going to dangerous places. Following his career as a freelancer, he continued to travel to dangerous places such as the civil war in Syria in the early 2010s where he suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury in 2013.  He had a passion for sharing what he had seen and instilled a curiosity in his daughters and grandchildren. 

Dennis loved his daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren, loved nature, bird watching, spending time with his dog and cat, catching lizards and was fascinated with snakes.  

Those left to honor and cherish his memory include two daughters:  Ashley Kuehl and husband Trey of Lubbock, and Laura Covington and husband Doug Tow of Lubbock; three grandchildren:  Jack, Sadie and Jude Kuehl of Lubbock; his dog Sophie and cat Dorian; former spouses, Susan Barron and Vicki Covington, and numerous loving family members and friends all over the world. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers:   Sam Scott “Scotty” Covington and Gary Covington; one sister, Jeanie Covington Wolaver.

A heartfelt thank you to the staff of Callander House-South and Hospice of the South Plains who took incredible care of Dennis in his final months.

Celebration of Life Memorial Services will be held at 2 PM on Saturday, May 11, 2024, in the Combest Family Memorial Chapel.  Rev. Lia Scholl will be the officiant.  Services are under the personal care and direction of Combest Family Funeral Homes and Crematory.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider donating to the Lewy Body Dementia Association (,   Doctors Without Borders (, or a charity of your choice. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dennis R. Covington, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, May 11, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Combest Family Memorial Chapel

2210 Broadway St, Lubbock, TX 79401

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