Susan Freese Covert, age 73, surrounded by her loving family, passed away from pulmonary complications on February 7, 2021. Susan, daughter of the late Stanley and Eleanor Freese, was born on May 3, 1947, in Dallas, Texas. She was the first born child in her family with three younger brothers. She attended parochial schools (St. James and St. Elizabeth) in Dallas and in San Antonio (St. Paul). She was a proud member of the first co-ed graduating class of Bishop Dunne in 1965 (formerly Our Lady of Good Council).
She attended North Texas State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education in 1969. While there, she met her roommate and lifelong friend, Linda Akins, and was introduced to her future husband, Gary Covert, on a blind date.
After marrying in January of 1969, Gary and Susan moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, the following summer for Gary's new job with the Army Air Force Exchange Service. Susan talked often about her favorite parts of Hawaii: the ability to wear muumuus and sandals year-round and most importantly, the birth of her first daughter, Jennifer, on November 21, 1970.
Longing to live near their families again, the family returned to Dallas in 1973. Susan spent her next few years staying home with Jennifer and substitute teaching at Skyline High School before heading back to school for a Master of Early Childhood Education degree at Texas Women's University. Over the next five years, she balanced school and motherhood, giving birth to her son, Michael, in 1976 and her daughter, Julie, in 1978. Upon obtaining her degree, she was licensed to teach all grade levels from Pre-K through 12th grade.
In the early '80s, she taught kindergarten, but her greatest joy was volunteering at her home parish of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church where her children also attended school. She served several terms on the St. Paul School Board and the St. Paul Packer Athletic Board, and she rarely missed any of her children's games, practices and activities. One of Susan's favorite events was the annual parish New Year's Eve party held in the school cafeteria. She loved dressing up and dancing the night away.
In 1986, Gary and Susan started Covert + Associates, Architects, where Susan served as the business manager for 14 years until she retired to be a full time "Grammy", Texas Rangers number one fan and a member of multiple bunco groups. With her kids grown, Susan found more time to devote to St. Paul Parish. Her roles included: Eucharistic minister, member and President of the Women's Guild, member of the Parish Pastoral Council, delegate of the Dallas Deanery Council of Catholic Women, and weekly participant in the Adoration. Two of her proudest moments at St. Paul were seeing the completion of the Parish Center designed by Covert + Associates and being named the 2014 Women's Guild Woman of the Year for her outstanding service to the parish.
Her passion for her Catholic faith shined brightest through her work on the RCIA team where she matched candidates with sponsors and mentored hundreds of new Catholics through the catechism process. Her deep faith was evident to everyone she met and sustained her through a lifetime of chronic pain and health challenges, most notably fibromyalgia. In 2016, her fighting spirit coupled with her faith helped her beat a rare, very aggressive bile duct cancer. Her family will forever be grateful for these last few bonus years.
Known for signature red hair and dazzling smile, she will be remembered for her steadfast humility, sage advice, generous spirit, and how she forged meaningful connections everywhere she went. Even in her final days, she would not dwell on her own health battle but instead focused on stories of her children and grandchildren, including baby milestones, toddler escapades, e-learning woes, middle school basketball scores, new college adventures, work triumphs and challenges, and most importantly, where we would all vacation after Covid-19.
She is survived by her husband, Gary; three children: Jennifer Clay, husband David; Michael Covert, wife Erin; and Julie Murphy, husband Sean. Eight grandchildren: Allison, Audrey and Andrew Clay; Bree, Bauer and Bennett Murphy; Cora and June Covert. Three brothers: James, Paul and John Freese and their families.
The Rosary and Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, March 1 at 12pm at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Richardson, Texas. In light of Covid-19, St. Paul will be practicing strict virus prevention protocol for those who choose to attend in person. Masks must be worn and social distancing observed. In order to prevent further risk of spreading the virus, there will no formal visitation or post funeral reception.
Please follow this link to observe services virtually: https://www.facebook.com/saintpaulchurch
In lieu of flowers, please prayerfully consider a donation to one of Susan's favorite organizations, Catholic Charities of Dallas.
Donate online at ccdallas.org/donate or mail a check to:
Catholic Charities Dallas, 1421 Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, TX 75247