Donald Edwin CombsFebruary 26, 1931 ~ January 4, 2018 (age 86)
LOWVILLE – Donald E. Combs, 86, of Cardinal Lane, went home to be with the Lord on Thursday morning, January 4, 2018 at his home.
Don is survived by three children and their spouses, Pamela Jane Combs Lyndaker and her husband, Bruce Lyndaker of Lowville; Jeffrey Philip Combs and his wife, Joyce Yoder Combs of Watertown; Patricia Ann Combs Esford and her husband, Craig Esford of Cape Vincent; two brothers and sisters-in-law, John “Jack” and Gerre Combs of Oak Park Heights, MN; Blair “Butch” and Linda Combs of Northport, AL; a brother-in-law, Frank Shaffrey of Clayton; 13 grandchildren, Rebekah, Jessica, Sarah, Erica, Rachel, Seth, Anika, Abigail, Joe, Elizabeth, Nicholas, Gabriel, and Virginia; 24 great-grandchildren; and multiple nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Don was predeceased by his beloved wife of 62 years, Roselba, who died on August 4, 2013; three sisters and a brother-in-law, Erna and Earl Ebersol, Patricia Shaffrey, and Sandra Combs.
Don was born on February 26, 1931 in Pocono Pines, PA, son of the late Edwin and Esther Dunlap Combs. He was cherished and nurtured in his teen years by Seth and Mert Lehman. After graduating from Beaver Falls High School in 1948, Don joined the United States Army and served from 1948-1952 as part of the Occupational Forces in Germany. He hitch hiked home from Germany so he could marry Roselba Lehman. On May 26, 1951, he and Roselba were married at her parents’ home, with Rev. Sawin officiating. He and Roselba lived in the Watertown area for 40 years, raising three children and hosting a foreign exchange student from Finland.
Don had a 39-year career at Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, retiring as Superintendent of the Service Department for the Northern Region of New York State. During that time he also founded a family business, Combs Heating and Air Conditioning. He graduated from Jefferson Community College after several years of night classes. Don built several homes and had a passion for the woods, continuing his father’s lumber legacy. He and his son made maple syrup on Middle Branch Road in Harrisville for 30 years. He was a charter member of Watertown Mennonite Church, Emmaus Bible Fellowship at Maple Ridge, and Beaver Camp.
Don enjoyed boating and traveling with his family, particularly in the Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence River and the Rideau Canal in Canada. He was an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox, unapologetic in a Yankees community. Don and Roselba enjoyed entertaining company in their home. They traveled internationally, including on memorable trips to Germany in 1964 and 2004. In 1981, they traveled to Brazil to visit their son and daughter-in-law and their family, who were there with the Mennonite Central Committee.
Don served on the planning board of the Brookside Senior Living Community. In 1996, Don and Roselba moved to the community. They resided on Cardinal Lane, named for Roselba’s favorite bird, and enjoyed many warm friendships. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Calling hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 6, 2018, prior to the funeral service, at First Mennonite Church, New Bremen. The funeral will be held at 1:30 p.m. at First Mennonite Church, New Bremen, with Pastor Paul Cornell, of Emmaus Bible Fellowship Church, Maple Ridge, officiating. A meal will follow at the church fellowship hall. Spring burial will be in First Mennonite Church Cemetery.
Contributions may be made to the Mennonite Disaster Service in c/o Jeff Mosier, Treasurer, 5365 Route 289 Mannsville, NY 13611 or New Day Community Church for Haiti missions, 5573 Water Street Lowville, NY 13367. Arrangements are with Iseneker Funeral Home, Inc., Lowville. Condolences may be made online at www.isenekerfuneralhome.com.