Whitesburg KY
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Bronze Star veteran Bill Combs, 97, dies



Bill Combs, 97, of Ermine, died November 10 at Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital.

Born on Friday Branch to John Combs and Martha Reynolds Combs, when he was six days old, the entire family moved to their homeplace on Combs Branch where John Combs had built their lifelong home, much like Bill Combs did for his own family.

A Bronze Star veteran of World War II, he lived his entire life in Letcher County. He worked for 46 years as an engineer for Southeast Coal Company, served on the Whitesburg Water Board in the 1960’s the Whitesburg Airport Board, was an elder statesman of the Republican Party in Letcher County and was a member and the last survivor of the building committee of the First Baptist Church on Madison Avenue in Whitesburg.

He especially enjoyed beekeeping, gardening and model airplanes.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife for 65 years, Betty Jo Picklesimer Combs; a sister, Gladys Lindholm of Richmond; two brothers Sid Combs of London, and Hugh Combs of Lexington; and a grandson, Jonathan Barkley Combs of Richmond.

Surviving are two brothers Dan Combs and wife Penny of Whitesburg, and Henry Combs of Richmond and wife Coetta; a daughter, Joy Hoeflinger and husband Bob of Harlingen, Tex.; two sons, Keith Combs and wife Sarah of Richmond, and Chris (Heather) Combs of Irvine and wife Heather; grandchildren, Phillip Hoeflinger and wife Rocio, and Kara Hoeflinger, both of Harlingen, Tex., Thomas Combs and wife Emily of Douglasville, Ga., Catherine (Marion) Jones and husband Marion of Phenix City, Ala., Erin Combs of Lexington, and Matthew Combs of Richmond; and eight great-grandchildren-Isaac, Samuel, Aaron, Hannah, Sadie, J.R., Emmett and Lily.

Funeral services were held November 14 at Letcher Funeral Home. Burial was a private service for family only at Green Acres Cemetery immediately following the funeral, where both he and his first wife, Betty Jo Combs, were buried together as he requested.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital or the charity of your choice.

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