Donald Combs, age 71, passed away Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, at the VA Medical Center in Iowa City following a brief illness.
A visitation will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, at the Goettsch
Funeral Home in Anamosa, Iowa, where military honors will be accorded by the
United States Army. Following the visitation, a celebration of life will be hosted at The General Store in Stone City from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for friends and family to attend. If you have a fun story or special memory to share, the family would love to hear how Don impacted your life.
Surviving are his wife, Linda; three children, Autumn (Todd) Wood, Marion, Iowa, Brandon (Lois) Combs, Marion, Iowa, and Derrick (Elisa) Combs, Salisbury, Md.; seven grandchildren, Andrew and Kiah Wood, Tyler and Levi Combs, and Zach, Elana and Skyler Combs; his sister, Patty (Mike) Strickland, Charleston, Ill.; and his beloved cat, Frankie. He was preceded in death by his parents and an infant brother, Lonnie.
Donald Ellis Combs was born Jan. 30, 1946, in Tuscola, Ill. He was the son of Ellis and Margaret Swisher, Combs. Don graduated from the Oakland, Ill., high school in 1964. He served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War, where he was wounded in combat. Don married Linda Kay Autry on March 8, 1966, in his hometown of Hindsboro, Ill. He started his career in sales at the Douglas County, Ill., Farm Service, and later in Iroquois County. In 1974, a career change to the Celotex Corp. selling residential building materials in northeast Iowa required a move to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. After nine years in building materials, he continued his sales career providing different insurance products beginning with Linn County Farm Bureau. In 1980 they purchased an acreage near Stone City. He worked in sales his entire career, the last 13 being with Beltone of Iowa, with offices at different times in Anamosa, Monticello, Manchester, Dubuque and Maquoketa. He loved helping improve the lives of his patients through better hearing. After retiring in the fall of 2016, he and Linda graduated from a lifetime of tent camping to a tiny teardrop camper. They were blessed to visit nature's beauty out west in 2016 and the lovely autumn colors of the northeast in 2017.
Don was a gentle, kind and caring man who loved nature. He enjoyed its bounty through fishing, camping, kayaking, hiking and gardening. He was an excellent mushroom hunter and loved feeding the birds, deer and turkeys. Beekeeping was a new adventure started in 2016. Even in his last days, knowing he was unable to return home, he made sure family and friends knew to care for the creatures he would leave behind.
Don loved his home, a little patch of land that became his and Linda's sanctuary. They loved Stone City and the people who were drawn to this tiny community. Don and Linda were one of the original couples who started the Stone City Music Festival.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Don's memory to Indian Creek Nature Center, Trees Forever, or a similar organization of your choice.