Emily Mae West Covington

Published 9:48 pm Thursday, December 27, 2012

Emily Mae West Covington, of Suffolk, Va., slipped into eternal rest on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012. She was preceded in death by her husband, Willie James Covington Sr. and brother, Roosevelt T. West Jr. She was born on Aug. 12, 1930, in Nansemond County, Va., to the late Roosevelt Theodore West Sr. and Lucille Anderson West.


She was educated in the Nansemond County Public School System. She continued her education by enrolling in several adult learning and general education courses at P.D. Pruden Vocational Center and Paul D. Camp Community College.

Emily Mae was an entrepreneur for over five decades. In 1964, while still working for private employers, Willie and Emily Covington established the Suffolk Seafood Market. Emily was responsible for the day-to-day operations of this highly successful business. In 1968, Willie and Emily became proprietors of Bill’s Café. Upon Willie’s untimely death in 1974, Emily became the sole proprietor of this establishment until her retirement in 1995.

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She was a member of Metropolitan Baptist Church, where she served on the usher and missionary boards. She held watch membership at Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Petersburg, Va., while residing in Chester, Va., with her daughter.

Emily Mae leaves seven children to honor her legacy: John C. West Sr., of Suffolk, Joan C. Watford (Ernest), of Suffolk, Betty J. Dixon (Keith), of Raleigh, N.C., Willie J. Covington Jr. (Vivian), of Chesapeake, Va., Clarence E. Covington Sr. (Lynn), of Chesapeake, Jacqueline C. Milteer, of Chesapeake, and Dr. Faye Covington-Bradley (Carroll), of Chester, Va. The matriarch of the family leaves 13 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Emily Mae was the eldest of four siblings, Rosa Lee Darden (Lorenzo), of Hampton, Va., Clarence S. West Sr. (Oprah), of Suffolk (deceased) Roosevelt T. West Jr. (Marilyn), and Barbara West Copeland, of Suffolk. She will be greatly missed by her nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

The family will receive guests on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, from 6 to 7 p.m. at Crocker Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, at Metropolitan Baptist Church, Suffolk, followed by interment at Carver Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Metropolitan Baptist Church Family Life Center, 125 County St., Suffolk, VA 23434. There will be no public viewing. Professional services have been entrusted to Crocker Funeral Home, Suffolk. Condolences may be extended to the family at www.crockerfuneralhome.com.