Keith Combes

Monday, January 14, 2013

Keith Merlin Combes, age 89, of Sac City and formerly of Nemaha and Newell, passed away on Wednesday, Jan, 9, 2013, at Park View Rehabilitation Center in Sac City.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Jan. 12, at 10:30 a.m., United Methodist Church in Nemaha with burial at the Nemaha Cemetery and flag presentation by the American Legion Post No. 193 of Newell. Russ Davis will be the bugler. The Farber & Otteman Funeral Home in Sac City is in charge of arrangements.

Keith was born on a farm southwest of Nemaha to Merle and Edna (Hellmann) Combes on Jan. 8, 1924. He graduated from Nemaha High School in 1941 and continued to help his dad and his uncle Roy on the farm.

He was inducted into the United States Army October 1944 and was sent to Florida for training, then shipped overseas where he joined the 87th Division (Golden Acorn) under the command of General Patton. He was decorated with a Bronze Star Medal for heroic achievement, European African Middle Eastern Theater Medal with three Bronze Battle Stars and one overseas service bar for his service in the Rhineland, Central Europe and Ardennes Campaigns.

He came home on furlough and on July 20, 1945 and married June Mertz at Kerkhoven, Minn. After his discharge they came back to farm in the Nemaha area. They were blessed with three children: Jean, Dale and James. In 1983 they retired to Newell. Keith continued to work on the farm and in 2005 he and June entered Park View Care Center. June passed away Dec. 8, 2006.

In earlier years they enjoyed dancing (he met June at Cobblestone), roller skating, square dancing and fishing. He was an active member of Nemaha and Newell United Methodist Churches and was on Crestland School Board, Newell Library Board, Lions Club and VFW. He liked watching Jim and Jason race motorcycles and also riding his own motorcycle. Keith was also a ham radio operator for many years and enjoyed visiting with people from around the world. He was a big fan of the Nemaha Farmall Promenade.

Survivors include his children: Jean (Phil) Jahde of Alta; Dale Combes of Aurora, Colo.; and Jim (Janene) Combes of Nemaha; grandchildren: Shana and Brice Combes of Aurora, Colo.; Jason (Kayla Florke) Combes of Nemaha; and Megan (Ben Lockwood) Combes of Cherokee; great-grandson Ethan Combes of Cherokee; brother Ray (Pat) Combes of Joseph, Ore.; sister Norma (Larry) Erickson of Albert City; extended family members and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife June; and daughter-in-law Sue Combes.