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Anneva's Story

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Anneva Covey Gates, M.D., a longtime resident of Beckley, West Virginia, passed away after a short illness in Johns Creek, Georgia, at the age of ninety-six. Born Anneva Louise French, she was the daughter of the late Ballard D. French and Maude Elizabeth Duncan of Bristol, Virginia. She was preceded in death by her husband of forty-four years, William C. Covey, Jr., M.D., and by her second husband, Leslie C. Gates. She is survived by her brother, Ballard D. French, Jr., and his wife, Holly, of Palo Alto, California. Also surviving are two nieces, Linda and Amy French and their families, of California, and two sons, William C. Covey, III, of Gainesville, Florida and Douglass F. Covey, Sr., Ed.D and wife, Carolyn Renee Covey (formerly Lilly), of Johns Creek, Georgia, as well as two grandchildren, Megan Renee Mosley and husband, Josh, of St. Augustine, Florida, and Douglass F. Covey, Jr., of Athens, Georgia. She is also survived by a stepson, L.A. Gates and wife, Lou, of Beckley, and a stepdaughter, Ellen Elaine Gates Anderson and husband, Jim, of Beckley, and four step grandchildren and many step great grandchildren.
A lifelong bibliophile and music lover, she studied violin throughout childhood at Sullins College and Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Virginia. She graduated from William King High School in Abington, Virginia, where she was valedictorian. She was an alumna of King College, Bristol, Virginia, where she was active in campus life, writing for the newspaper, serving as president of her sorority and reigning as Queen of the Dogwood Festival. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in chemistry. At the age of nineteen, she became one of the first women admitted to medical school at Duke University. She earned her M.D. in three years and went on to specialize in pediatrics. She served her pediatric internship and residency at Vanderbilt University and completed her specialty training at the University of Rochester, where she was the Head Pediatric Resident at Strong Memorial Hospital.
Following a long courtship, she married William C. Covey, Jr., M.D., of Beckley, after his discharge from the Navy at the conclusion of WW II. The couple began their married life in Beckley but relocated to Baltimore when William was recalled for service in the Navy during the Korean War. After completing his service, the couple returned to Beckley to establish their permanent home where they raised their two sons. She was active in the Raleigh County Medical Society, the American Association of University Women and the Beckley Women's Club. After the death of her first husband, Dr. William C. Covey, Jr., in 1991, she remained in Beckley, later marrying Mr. Leslie C. Gates. Following his death in 2008, she moved to Johns Creek, Georgia to be with family.
Final arrangements are incomplete at this time. The family requests that those who wish to do so, make donations to the charity of their choice. Online condolences may be made at www.crowellbrothers.com. Arrangements made by Crowell Brothers Funeral Homes & Crematory, 5051 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Peachtree Corners, GA 30092. 770-448-5757.
Published on August 5, 2017
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