Richard D. Covini, age 99, a former Berlin reporter and suburban editor for the New Britain Herald, died on April 14, 2021 at his home.
Born in New Britain, Covini was the son of the late Giuseppe and Angelina âMainoâ Covini; the family moved to his grandfatherâs farm on Christian Lane, Berlin. He attended Worthington School, graduated from Berlin High School in 1939 and later from the Moody Secretarial School in New Britain.
Classified 4F during World War II, he served as a civilian clerk with the Army Ordnance Department till he joined The Herald in 1945. He had been with the paper for 45 years. He started in the circulation department in July 1945. Six months later he became the Heraldâs Berlin reporter. He covered the town for 25 years before becoming the suburban editor.
When he started covering Berlin, he had no training or experience in professional journalism, but became a competent reporter through independent study and the demanding tutoring of the late John Sexton, his mentor and suburban editor.
He didnât start college until he was 36. After attending night classes for two or three nights a week for seven and a half years, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from the University of Hartford.
Upon his retirement in July 1990, Judith W. Brown, late editor and publisher of the paper, said: âA Herald without Dick Coviniâs input is hard to imagine. He has been the spirit that has animated the suburban news for so many years. When I started at the Herald, he was known as âScoopâ Covini, the voice of Berlin.
âWhen âScoopâ went on to become suburban editor, he brought to the job the same energetic attitude that made him such a successful reporter. Suburban reporters became his âkidsâ and he was always willing to take time to help them with anything. Dick cared deeply about the reporters, the people he and they wrote about and the readers.â
Eric Riess, managing editor when Covini retired, called him the âchief architectâ of the Heraldâs suburban coverage. Riess said he was able to teach young reporters âthings they could never learn in journalism school.â
Henry Keezing, late executive editor of the Herald, said âCovini cared about the towns, the people, the English language and the power of the written word to inform and influence events.â
The Hartford Courant, in an editorial tribute, called Covini an âinstitutionâ in Berlin and a âpioneer in community journalism.â âMr. Covini, the Courant said, covered Berlin when brick making was a big business and when a truckload of hay getting wedged under the Farmington Avenue railroad bridge was a news story.â
He was a member of St. Paulâs Council, Knights of Columbus, later renamed to the Msgr. Thomas L. Greylish Council. He was among the first to propose that Berlin build its own municipal golf course. He served on the original Timberlin Greens Committee for 20 years and was a former member of the Timberlin Menâs Club and the Timberlin Seniors.
Surviving is a nephew, Dennis Covini and his wife Nancy Covini; a niece, Mrs. Deborah Surdel and her husband Paul Surdel; grandnieces: Melissa Bryers, Mrs. Morgan Nieves; grandnephews: Brian Covini, Matthew Dutkiewicz; and great-grandnephews: Garett and Gavin Covini, Nathan Stoversines, and several cousins. Besides his parents he was predeceased by two brothers, Primo Covini and Orlando âAlbertâ Covini.
Among those counted as special friends are Mr. Al Tee, and the Phil Marquis and John Wolowicz families. Our family would be remiss if we did not mention the care his aides provided him for the past few years, especially for the exceptional care provided by Brenda Carrasco who cared for Richard as though he was family.
Friends and family are invited to call at the Berlin Memorial Funeral Home 96 Main St, Kensington on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial St. Paul Church, Kensington at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow at St. Maryâs Cemetery.
To share memories and condolences with Richardâs family please visit www.berlinmemorialfuneralhome.com