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Mary Ann Covington

Mary Ann Covington, 94, died peacefully on Feb. 16, 2024, in her apartment at The Orchard surrounded by her daughters and one of her loyal sitters. She was born June 16, 1929, in Yazoo City. Her parents were John Lewis Ponder Jr. and Bess Winstead Ponder.

She was preceded in death by her husband, John Ellis Covington; her parents; brother, John Lewis Ponder III and wife Frances.

She is survived by her daughters, Eleanor Ray (Mike Ray deceased) and Carolyn Loftin; her grandchildren, Ashley Gilland (Doug), Jonathan Loftin, Mary Eleanor Loftin, Michael Ray (Haley), Kate Buchanan (John), John Ellis Ray (Karley); her great-grandchildren, George Gilland, Mary Mac Gilland, Ruthie Gilland, Jack Gilland, Gaines Gilland, MaKensie Bright, John Michael Ray, Lilah Kate Ray, Olivia Ray, Ellis Kate Buchanan, Mary Springer Buchanan, Robert Buchanan, Layton Ray; her beloved sister, Nancy Brand, who she lived next door to at The Orchard; and beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Mrs. Covington attended school in West Memphis and Brinkley, Ark. She graduated from Benton High School, Benton. She graduated from MSCW in 1950 with a degree in music education. While at MSCW, Mary Ann was a member of the Jester Social Club and many music organizations. Her piano professor, Dr. Ritchie, was responsible for her being invited to study at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Mary Ann taught music education in Hollandale, where she met her husband, John Covington, who was employed by his family’s business Mississippi Cottonseed Products, Company. They made their home in Hollandale, Greenville, Jackson, Kosciusko, and Kennet, Mo. In 1984, they moved to Crystal Springs, where Mr. Covington was associated with Copiah Bank, the bank his great-grandfather, John Alexander Covington, founded. John and Mary Ann both agreed that their time living in Crystal Springs were some of the happiest years of their lives.

Music played a large part in Mary Ann’s life. She taught piano for years and loved her students. Watching them excel in music brought her great joy. Church music was her love. She served as the church pianist in the churches they belonged to most every place they lived. During her time serving as the church pianist at Crystal Springs United Methodist Church, she recorded a CD of piano and organ duets by she and Inza Calloway, as well as a CD of her playing the piano of some of her favorite Christian hymns. Her last place of service was as the pianist for The Orchard Church, which she helped begin the year she moved to The Orchard.

Mary Ann loved her P.E.O. sisters and served as president of Chapter F, Jackson, from 1994 to 1996. She also was very involved in MacDowell Music Club of Crystal Springs and was president from 1986 to 1988.

Visitation will be from 10 until 11 a.m., Saturday, March 2, at Crystal Springs Methodist Church, with a celebration of life service to follow at 11 a.m. in the sanctuary.

The graveside service will follow at 2 p.m. at Lakewood Memorial Park Cemetery.

We thank with sincere gratitude and appreciation the staff at Arden Hospice for the loving care she received during her last days. Her daughters are deeply grateful for the dedication and love shown by her Orchard sitters, Theresa Williams, Debbie Jones, and Kristie McCoy, who were like family to her.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Music Ministry at Crystal Springs Methodist Church.