Walter J. Covich

Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Longtime Alaska resident Walter J. Covich died Saturday, May 19, 2001, at Central Peninsula General Hospital after a brief illness. He was 83.

Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Chapel by the Sea in Anchorage. Dr. Bob Provost and the Rev. Tim Davis will officiate. A private family burial of his ashes will be at the Anchorage Municipal Cemetery.

Mr. Covich was born on Nov. 24, 1917, to John and Sophie Covich in Chicago, where he also was raised. After graduating from St. Paul Bible College in 1939, he visited Alaska under the auspices of the Slavic Gospel Association, returning to Port Graham the following year with his bride, Ella D. Hyink, to start a nondenominational church. He ministered in Chignik, then in Kenai, where he built the Kenai Bible Church in the early 1950s. He also ministered at Lazy Mountain Children's Home from 1955 to 1973 in Cold Bay and finally in Anchorage, where he distributed Russian Bibles for the Slavic Gospel Association.

Mr. Covich also served as a chaplain at the Alaska Native Services Hospital and the Alaska Native Medial Center until his illness in November 2000.

"Since the 1970s, and owing to his fluency in the Russian language, he was privileged to interpret numerous times for visiting Russians and to serve as interpreter for Christian groups visiting the Russian Far East, as well," his family said.

Mr. Covich enjoyed participating in fellowship at the Chapel by the Sea, where he and his wife attended for many years, and his interests included traveling, watching Chicago Cubs baseball games, and spending time with friends and family.

Mr. Covich is survived by his wife, Ella D. 'Eldy' Covich; son and daughter-in-law, David and Susan Covich; daughter and son-in-law, Carol and Jim Anderson; grandchildren Sara, John and Laura Covich and Paula Sundwall and her husband, Jason; great-grandsons Tanner and Cole; brother, Michael; and sisters Mary Uldrych and Olga Struchen.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

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