The Woodward News

October 25, 2013

Nina Covalt

Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. —

Nina Covalt, 92 year old Woodward resident, died Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at the Woodward Regional Hospital. A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, October 26, 2013 in the Woodward Church of Christ with James Bailey and James Rucker officiating. A private family burial will be before the service. Arrangements are under the direction of the Billings Funeral Home.

Nina Dell Burrus Covalt was born April 10, 1921 in Bible Grove, Missouri to John Robert Burrus and Bernice Lydia Crandall Burrus. She was raised with five siblings, Kyra, John, Kathleen, Davis, and Lorene. Her father died when she was eight. The family worked together raising a garden, tending cattle, and leasing land to survive. She graduated as the Valedictorian of her class at Bible Grove and went on to attend Northeastern Missouri University in Kirksville, Missouri. She taught a number of years after earning her teacher certification at the university. She related a story of teaching vocabulary to her students in rural Missouri. She asked, “Can you use the word wretch in a sentence?” One student slowly put up her hand and she called on her. The girl replied, “I don’t know unless if you wretched out and got something.” Kathleen, her sister encouraged her to leave teaching and pursue a nursing career during World War II to join in the war effort with their brothers Robert and Davis who were in the Army and the Navy respectively. Kathleen left nursing school to marry while Nina continued her education completing a two year degree in nursing at the University of Oklahoma and going on to finish her Bachelors of Science in Nursing at Boston University. She worked as a supervisor at Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City. It was while working there that one of her classmate’s set her up on a blind date with Alvin Charles Covalt. They were married at the Christian Church in Oklahoma City on August 15, 1953. To this union were born four children, Mona Lynn Covalt, Jan Deloris Covalt Carter, Kyle Charles Covalt, and Rita Faye Covalt Reeves.

Nina was a faithful member of the Church of Christ. She taught the toddler class, was the nurse at bible camp, and baked and prepared a great deal of food over the years in service to the Lord. She was a member of the American Nursing Association, the Work and Play Extension Club. She was a volunteer with the Red Cross teaching CPR and working on blood drives. After retirement she worked on the “Books for Babies” project taking her grandchildren along with her making and distributing the materials to encourage mothers to read to their children as she had with her children and grandchildren. She participated in the Pink Ladies, a volunteer organization at Woodward Hospital taking histories at specialist clinics.


She continued her career after marriage working shifts at Woodward Memorial Hospital and later taught practical nursing there and at High Plains Vocational Institute. She taught her students and her children how to behave personally and professionally. Her daughter observed her engage with a conversation in a store.  Her daughter asked, “Who was that?” Nina replied, “That was a man with a head on his shoulders.” Her child didn’t know it, but she had just gotten her first lesson in patient confidentially. Nina valued public service, education, and lifelong learning and instilled these values in her children and her students. Many of her LPN students have gone on to earn degrees.

The verse she taught her Bible students and her children was, “Be ye Kind.” One of her granddaughter’s seeking to correct the behavior of another grandchild vocalized in a loud trumpeting voice to her misbehaving sibling while intruding in that child’s personal space and shaking her finger, “Be ye kind, be ye kind, be ye kind.” Not quite what the apostle Paul and Nina had in mind with that verse. Nina was kind, understated, unassuming, and resourceful. When her husband was asked what he most admired about her, he said, “She can get along in any circumstances.” She personified the apostle Paul’s words, “I know how to be abased and abound, in any circumstances to be content.” She kept the bookkeeping for the cow calf operation she, her husband and children ran and served as a vet to cattle and the occasional pig that was allowed. She worked part time teaching, raised her children, and was active in the work of the church and volunteered in the community. She taught her children the importance of patience and hard work growing food and processing it with her children for their use and to share with others.

She is survived by her husband Alvin Covalt of Woodward; three daughters, Mona Covalt of Canton, Jan Carter and husband Dwight of Sulphur, Rita Reeves and husband Kevin of Woodward; one son, Kyle Covalt and wife Valerie of Woodward; grandchildren, Kyle Covalt II, Shelby Lynn Reeves, Ashley Diane Reeves, Kade Chase Covalt, Brooklynn Nichole Carter, Jordan Ray Carter, Lily Ann Carter, Faith Marie Carter, Patricia Faye Pulley; other relatives and many friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers and sisters, Kyra Gordon, John Robert Burrus, Kathleen Wells, Davis Burrus, and Lorene Smith.

Memorials may be given to the Woodward Church of Christ with the funeral home accepting the contributions.

Remembrances may be shared online at

Her model was the women described in Proverbs 31. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”