Perkins-Parker Funeral Home
Frank G. Covino
(October 16, 1931 - February 16, 2016)
Born to Italian immigrant parents in 1931, Frank Covino discovered his love for art at an early age. By 1950 he enlisted to fight in the Korean war, with a promise of paid college education. Extensive casualties awarded Air Force Sergeant Covino and his Battalion the prestigious Syngman Rhee Presidential Unit Citation, a distinguished medal of honor. Upon discharge, Frank enrolled at Pratt Institute, earning his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Art Teacher Education in 1959. By 1960, Frank was hired by Norman Rockwell to teach the portrait course for The Famous Artists School in Westport, Connecticut, before establishing his own Academy of Art in Fairfield, Connecticut, in 1963. Twenty-four years later, Covino closed the doors to his Academy and took to the road, where he continued to conduct seminars in major cities from coast to coast. In 1995, Frank led 15 art students on a precedent-setting trip to the Louvre in Paris, where they each completed a copy of an Old Master. Over the course of 5 decades, Frank was commissioned to paint a wide range of portraits, including British Prime Minister, Sir Harold McMillan; retiring President of RJR Nabisco Corporation, Ross Johnson, the notorious subject of the year’s top selling book, “Barbarians at the Gate“. Frank’s life-sized portrait of singer Dinah Shore was dramatically unveiled during the popular national television show 20/20, and was displayed for years at the Mission Hills Country Club in Palm Springs. Covino was also commissioned to paint a large portrait of film actress, Gloria Swanson and another study of Marvin Gaye. In the 1980’s the World Wrestling Federation commissioned Frank to sculpt the original bronze Slammy Award. Frank has authored three major art books: The Fine Art of Portraiture, Discover Acrylics With Frank Covino, and Controlled Painting. His latest and final book, The Left Brain Alternative, is set to be released later this year as an eBook. He has also produced 12 instructional art videos. Stationed in the Rocky Mountains before his Korean deployment, Frank discovered a passion for skiing. After he survived the war, he pursued the sport relentlessly, becoming a ski instructor in 1955 and continuing to teach for 22 years, guided initially by his mentor and close friend, Olympic ski champion, Stein Eriksen. Stein invited Frank to participate in a clinic held at Sugarbush Valley, from which would develop the new Stein Eriksen Ski School. Over the years, Frank and Stein collaborated on a nationally syndicated newspaper column entitled “Ski Tips From Stein Eriksen” which Frank edited and illustrated. Together they invented the “Chalk-Talk”, a popular audio-visual presentation that involved ski instruction narration by Stein supported by live action sketches, which Frank drew on an overhead projector. In 1975, Frank was asked by Digest Books to collaborate with Olympic Gold Medal Champion, Jean-Claude Killy, which resulted in the book “133 Ski Lessons by Jean-Claude Killy. Frank’s three ski instruction manuals, illustrated by the author, were published by Digest Books in the seventies, culminating in his most significant ski book, “Skiers’ Digest “ in 1976. In 1999 he co-authored the popular health and fitness book, “Rage Against Age” with Dr. Charles Anderson. An avid body builder and health enthusiast throughout his life, Frank decided to enter the Vermont Regional Bodybuilding Championships, and took home two Silver trophies and a First Place Gold for the Super Senior Division at the advanced ages of 79 and 80. Frank loved life to the fullest. His many adventures also included bareback bronc riding in the Federal, Wyoming rodeo; skydiving; heli-skiing in British Columbia; surfing; horseback riding and kayaking. Frank leaves behind the love of his life Barbara; his son Mark; daughter Cameron; his sister Carol; his brother Lee; his sister in-law Geri; as well as cousins, nieces, nephews and extended family. Frank was predeceased by his beloved brother Bob. The family will hold a celebration of Frank Covino’s incredible life in June at a date and time to be determined. For more information, please visit: www.frankcovino.com In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Mad River Ambulance Service, PO Box 305, Waitsfield, VT 05673, or the Mad River Valley Community Fund, PO Box 353, Waitsfield VT 05673. Assisting the family is the Perkins-Parker Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Waterbury. To send online condolences please visit www.perkinsparker.com or the funeral home Facebook page.