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Rev. Richard L. Combs, 81, of Jackson, Missouri, was accepted into the loving arms of Jesus, Friday, August 2, 2019, at the Lutheran Home in Cape Girardeau. In recent years, Pastor Combs battled multiple health challenges, but through it all, he kept a positive attitude and a contagious smile.
He was born July 29, 1938, in St. Louis, to Leo Edward and Mabel Nadine Noblin Combs. He was raised on a farm near Fredericktown and was a 1956 graduate of Fredericktown High School. He was a 1963 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University and later attended Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia, earning a Master of Divinity in 1977.
While making his first pastoral home visit to a church member near Gravel Hill, he met Julia Jean Adams, a young nursing student. By the conclusion of the evening, Richard knew he had met the woman he would marry. He and Julie were married June 2, 1962, at the United Methodist Church in Sikeston, Missouri. Three daughters were born to their union: Rebecca, Deanna, and Alicia. The entire family faithfully supported Richard’s ministry at numerous United Methodist churches, primarily in Missouri.
Throughout his ministry, Richard served on various conference and district committees and was a trustee of the Ozark Methodist Manor in Marionville, Missouri. In 2001, after 41 years in ministry, he was honored with the Harry Denman Award, presented by the Missouri United Methodist Conference for his outstanding work in evangelism.
In his spare time, Richard enjoyed flower gardening and yardwork, geneology, playing the piano and accordian at local nursing homes, singing in the “Pastors’ Quartet”, and helping Julie with the annual yard sale at New McKendree United Methodist Church, their church home. Richard will be affectionately remembered for the special way he presented his children’s sermons with his stuffed frog, “Hoppy”.
Loving survivors include his wife of 57 years, Julie Combs of Jackson and their beloved puppy dog, London; three daughters: Rebecca (Gary) Shoemaker of St. Peters, Missouri, Deanna (Ronnie) Turner of Altenburg, Missouri, and Alicia Combs of Cape Girardeau; three grandchildren: Ashleigh (Andrew) Peters of Norfolk, Virginia, Nicholas Zuccarini of Potosi, Missouri, and Maria Zuccarini of Altenburg; two great-grandchildren, Luke and Layla Peters; three brothers-in-law: Howard (Carol) Adams of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Jerry (Marilyn) Adams of Bishopville, South Carolina, and Rick Adams of St. Peters; a special cousin, Carolyn Crain of Cape Girardeau; numerous nieces and nephews; and countless dear friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Janet (Clint “Dutch”) Yount; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Julius “Doodle” and Sarah Jean Adams; and a son-in-law, Tony Zuccarini.
Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, August 6, 2019, at McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson and from 9:30 a.m. to service time, Wednesday, August 7, 2019, at New McKendree United Methodist Church in Jackson.
The funeral is at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, August 7, 2019, at the church, with the Rev. Jimmie Corbin officiating, assisted by special clergy friends. Burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery in Cape Girardeau.
Memorials may take the form of contributions to New McKendree United Methodist Church.
Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.mccombsfuneralhome.com.
New McKendree United Methodist Church
225 S. High Street, Jackson MO 63755