David Thistle Van Covern

November 27, 1931January 27, 2019

David T. Van Covern, age 87, of The Woodlands, TX, passed away on January 27, 2019. David was born November 27, 1931, in Brooklyn, New York, to Virginia Thistle Van Covern and Fred Van Covern. He lived his early life in Bronxville, NY, and graduated from the Bronxville High School in 1949. He attended the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts, and graduated in 1953 with a B.S. degree in civil engineering. David began his business career with the Esso Standard Oil Co. in New Jersey in 1953 and served in the U.S. Army in 1955 and 1956. He then enrolled at Columbia University in New York City and obtained a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in 1958. At Columbia, he was elected a member of the national business honorary fraternity, Beta Gamma Sigma. He then returned to Esso Standard (later Exxon Mobil) and worked in New York, Houston, and Charlotte, N.C., until 1975. He purchased the Carolina Industrial Equipment Inc. in Charlotte, retiring in 1998. CIE is a distributor of several types of industrial equipment and during his tenure the company grew in size to cover all of North and South Carolina and portions of Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia. CIE became one of the largest distributors of Cushman industrial vehicles in the country and David served as Chairman of the National Cushman Industrial Dealers Council for several years. He loved the outdoors and was an avid gardener and landscaper throughout most of his life. Since 1998, he has been a resident of The Woodlands, Texas, and a member of The Woodlands United Methodist Church, where he was active in the Society of St. Stephen and the Gathering Place ministries. He developed many friendships as a greeter on Sunday mornings.

David is survived by his wife, Sandra Dunn Van Covern; son David T. Van Covern, and wife, Wynne Ellen, of Waynesboro, VA; daughters Deborah Murray of Belton, TX; and, Julie Van Covern, of Charlotte, NC; step-sons, Richard M. Cowart and wife, Julie, of Chattanooga, TN, and, John M. Cowart and wife, Paula, of Montgomery, TX; four grandchildren, two step- grandchildren, three great grandchildren and two step-great grandchildren.

A service will be held at The McEwen Funeral Chapel, 5716 Monroe Road on Saturday, February 9, at 11:30 a.m. A private burial will be in Sharon Memorial Park.


  • Funeral Service Saturday, February 9, 2019

David Thistle Van Covern

have a memory or condolence to add?

Bill Thoms Jr

February 7, 2019

Cousins Dave, Debbie and Julie,
I am writing to express my condolence to you all. Losing a parent is a milestone event in one's life and a cause for reflection, for both sadness and gratitude for what your Dad has done for you over the years.
As children we had more regular contact, often gathering in summertime. But time took us in different directions. I remember your Dad as a tall, masculine figure, yet gentle in speech and demeanor. When I was 13 I recall him taking me aside at a family picnic to quiz me on what it felt like to be an adolescent, prompting me with questions that caused to me to think about who I was and where I was going in life.
Again, I am sorry for your loss.

David Van Covern

January 30, 2019

I am very proud of my Dad. He was an exceptional man. He was very diligent in everything he did. He taught me many good life lessons. Dad was a very generous man doing many wonderful things for many people. God Bless you Dad!