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Charles Nelson Conover

November 4, 1954 - April 28, 2020

Virginia Beach, VA: Charles Nelson Conover, 65 , died suddenly on April 28, 2020. He was born on November 4, 1954 in Auburn, Alabama. Charlie was predeceased by his father, Nelson Conover and his mother, Bettie Jones Conover. He leaves behind his devoted wife, Donna Pizzitola Conover, with whom he shared forty-one years, thirty-four in marriage; his brother Kirk (Rebecca) Conover and their daughters, Liza and Anna; his beloved aunt, Kirk J. Smith; his uncle, John Conover, and numerous other Conover aunts, uncles, and cousins; a nephew, David Pizzitola; and nieces, Rebecca Pizzitola, and Jenna Pizzitola MacCormack.

Charlie attended the University of Virginia for his undergraduate study and his master’s degree. He retired from teaching high school English at Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake after twenty-five years.

Charlie was a poet and a musician. He published a book of poetry called Some Lines from the Time of Trees and played bass guitar, flute, piano, and saxophone in a band The Spoons with his wife Donna as vocalist back in their UVA college days and again with Poolhouse Tuesday in retirement. He was “the only redhead” in a funk band called The Swinging Gents and played bass in Stonewood Celtic. He frequently joined other fellow poets and musicians at the Muse in Norfolk. His friends were numerous and varied, and he will be missed.
Charlie was known for his love of literature and music, far-ranging intellect, and eclectic tastes. (Nary a tree in his yard lacked a faux owl or a wind chime.) He rarely met a book he didn’t like and had a huge private library. He especially favored Chaucer, Shakespeare, Moby-Dick, and J.R.R. Tolkien.

At Great Bridge High, he was the teacher who recited poetry, played his flute during fire drills, and wrote memorable poems for retiring faculty members. Many of his Advanced Placement English students credit him with inspiring their lifelong interest in literature.
Donations may be made in Charlie’s name to Friends of Acadia in Bar Harbor, Maine, or American Whitewater in Sylva, North Carolina. No flowers please.


A celebration of Charlie’s life will be held at a date to be announced.


One of these days and it won’t be long
Goin’ down in the valley and sing my song
Gonna sing it loud gonna sing it strong
Let the echo decide if I was right or wrong.
–Bob Dylan, Sylvio


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