Dave Coveney, Engineer

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Dave Coveney was an engineer at WGBH in the 1980s. He passed away on April 4 from COVID-19. This reminiscence is from his son, Jeff Coveney:

Today, COVID-19 took an amazing man, Dave Coveney. He went into the hospital on Tuesday and passed away today–that’s how strong this virus is.

What an amazing father, grandfather, husband, family man and friend he was to everyone.

He supported me with everything, even attending 90% of my old man baseball games. Up until last year, he would still give me batting tips telling me to keep my elbow up when I would pop out. He was a staple at games probably attending more baseball games than most of the players in the league.

I could never do wrong in his eyes. He supplied 100% unconditional love even when I didn’t deserve it. I am so lucky to have him as a dad and I only hope that I can succeed as a father the way he did.

As a grandfather, the kids adored him and he showed the same affection for them as he did for me. No matter what, he always asked them about what they were doing and attended kids activities whenever he could. And he loved my wife like a daughter he never had.

My mom and him were married for 50+ years–they enjoyed long rides all over New England as they would lovingly bicker back and forth. It was priceless watching them.

Xmas, Thanksgiving and other holidays were a special time for him as he got a chance to spend time with cousins, uncles, nephews, nieces and other family members. He was always Uncle Dave to everyone.

Dad had many friends working as a cameraman from his days at WRKO, WSBK and WGBH. He was always willing to help anyone at anytime.

Dad also loved all of my friends like they were his friends. He was always willing to lend an ear for all the kids at my high school parties as well as my friends now.

Last night, we said goodbye for the last time via Facetime (no hospital visits). It wasn’t in person but sharing 30 minutes of laughter and tears was pretty special. Up until the end, he still had his sense of humor and positive attitude…”don’t worry about me, I will be ok” was what he kept saying. This virtual session was all made possible by the courageous staff at Newton Wellesley who risked their own health so our family could connect. One nurse even gently moved hair out of his face to make him more comfortable.

Dad was a friend to us all. He will surely be missed.

Due to the COVID situation, there will not be a wake or funeral. We will celebrate his life with a service when this COVID situation subsides.

Because we can’t get together in person, your words matter. Hearing stories from friends and family has helped bring smiles and tears to us today. If you have a story about how Dave touched you, please share it here.

For those of you asking about my mom’s health, she is currently quarantined, but feeling healthy. Tests of everyone at their assisted living location are still pending.

Lastly, please stay safe and practice social distancing to help us get rid of this terrible virus.

From Facebook comments:

Russ Fortier: Sincerest sympathy to you and your family

Germaine Frechette: My condolences

Evie Kintzer: Very sorry for your loss.

Hillary Kimmel: So sorry for your loss. May his memory be a blessing.

Marcia Hulley: Condolences and deep sadness at his loss. Your dad was an amazing man. Sincerest sympathy

Cynthia Broner: Terribly sad to hear this. What a tremendous loss.

Marcia Hulley: Your dad was a dear friend to me . He befriended me from the time I was a newbie at WGBH. He helped me move into my new home. He was smart and funny and generous and one of a kind.

Amy Tonkonogy: I’m so incredibly sorry… thank you for sharing such sweetness about him as a dad, grandad. Thoughts and prayers to the entire family…

Nancy Walker: I remember him well…Rest Easy Now😥

Paul Plutnicki: Keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

Carla Raimer: So sorry

Tammy Christel: So heartbreaking. Deeply sorry for your loss. 😢

Kevin Kalunian: Thanks for sharing…

Patti Angelina: Dave was a wonderful man. So sorry for your loss. All good thoughts for Helene.

Regina Daley: My sincere condolences to you and your family.

Roger Lyons: Dave always seemed happy at the station, and loved his work at WGBH. He had a ready smile and was up for a chat in Master Control. My deepest condolences to his family.

Sherylle Linton Jones: I am so very sorry for your loss, Jeff and send you and your family my deepest condolences. 💔

Jay Collier: Dave was one of the kind engineers who helped me learn the WGBH ropes as a production assistant, crew member, and editor. He always had a friendly smile and a humility that hid his deep professional experience.

I remember one weekend ski trip to Vermont with colleagues, listening in the evening to his fascinating stories about the 1960s, some of which, I understand, made it into a book he wrote.

Other colleagues stayed in closer contact with Dave. All I had were Facebook and email messages. Nevertheless, Dave’s presence has remained strong in my mind all of these years.

My deepest condolences to Dave’s wife, son Jeff, and the entire family.

Hilary Finkel Buxton: Deepest sympathies to you and your family.

Christy George: I remember Dave well. Love & peace to his family.

Chas Norton: Sad news indeed. Best to his family

Darrell Byers: My prayers to you and your family.

Jeff Coveney: Thanks everyone for the kind words.

Mark Helman: I’m very sorry to hear this. I loved working with Dave.


  1. Steven Douglass on May 8, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    Jeff, I was so sorry to hear about your overwhelming loss. I hope & trust Dave had a soft landing on the parallel plane, so that he can continue his angelic works.

  2. Ron Della Chiesa on May 7, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    Sad news! Dave left us all to soon. A sweet gentle spirit. His smile says it all. RIP

  3. Wendy Davidson on May 7, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    My heartfelt condolences to you and your family. This horrible Plague has taken away so many precious loved ones.
    Wendy Davidson

  4. Mary Helen Doyle on May 6, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    I really enjoyed working with Dave, 1981-1986.

    He was always so positive and helpful to me and all engineers in the tape room and edit suites. Such a kind and fun guy. It was so nice to see him at the WGBH Reunion in 2006.

    Sending prayers to you and your family at this difficult time.

  5. Mary Kate Shea on May 6, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    Dave was a great guy.

    I was one of the “babies” who worked in engineering in the early 80’s. He was kind and generous with his knowledge and friendly personality.

    I have fond memories of Dave. I am sorry for your loss.

    Mary Kate Shea

  6. Margo Garrison on May 6, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    Dave was so great! A character. He always had some funny story to share and always made the listener feel special.

    He was kind and genuine. When I became an audio engineer he always helped me when I didn’t know what I was doing. And what a good union man!

    My sympathies.

  7. Raquel Ortiz on May 6, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    He was humble and helpful and fun to work with. RIP Dave.

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