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Lt Col Albert Eugene Combs, USAF, Retired, 93, (“Skeeter”, Al, Dad, or Grandpa to all who knew and loved him) of Summerville, husband to the late Martha Jane Combs, (Jane) of 70 years, peacefully entered into eternal rest on January 25, 2023.
Born on May 29, 1929, in New Albany, Indiana, Al was the son of the late Stanley A. Combs, Sr. and Beatrice Radcliff Combs.
Al was a career officer (pilot) in the US Air Force for 22 years, during which he received many medals and commendations for meritorious service beyond the call of duty. During his Air Force career, he flew C118’s, C135A’s, C135B’s. He was a test pilot for the first C141, and continued in the C141 cockpit for the remainder of his Air Force career. He proudly served his country in Viet Nam, where he received a medal for bravery. Al and Jane relocated 14 times while raising 6 children. After his military service, Al taught at Trident Tech before joining the Army Corps of Engineers as Safety Officer and then the Public Relations Officer for the Charleston District. Throughout his military and civilian career and his retirement years, his devotion to his family was exemplified by camping, boating, skiing, sailing, and cheering them on in sports and other extracurricular activities. His love for adventure led him to 50 years of aviation, for which he received an award from the FAA. Throughout his life, he considered it an honor and privilege to serve where ever there was a need. Al was active in his church and community. For many years in Charleston, he volunteered at the Neighborhood House Soup Kitchen, and St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church. He served as Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus Council #8900. He was a lifetime blood donor with the Charleston Red Cross receiving awards for 50+ pheresis donations in 1999 and, along with Jane, Platelet Couple of the Year in 2002. In their retirement, Al and Jane enjoyed many adventures off shore and traveling the Intercoastal Waterway on their sailboat, camping across the United States, and RVing through Europe. He and Jane pulled a camper across the lower 48, through Canada, and across Alaska. He sailed his 34’ sailboat as far as 100 miles off shore for days at a time and raced competitively on a sailing team.
Most importantly to Al, he leaves behind a legacy of love.
Al is survived by daughters Roxanna (David) Mills of Augusta, Georgia, Denise (Lance, deceased) Butler of Spartanburg, South Carolina, Dawn (David) Smith of Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, sons Rodney (Rebecca) Combs of Talking Rock, Georgia, Curt (Kathy) Combs of North Charleston, South Carolina, Eric (Mary) Combs of Blairsville, Georgia, as well as 23 grandchildren, 63 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren.
The funeral Mass will be held at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 6650 Dorchester Rd., North Charleston, SC at 10 am on Saturday, February 4, 2023. There will be an inurnment at Mepkin Abbey with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Al`s memory may be sent to Light of Mine Ranch a non-profit started by his grandson Jordan and his wife Mallory to help foster families in South Dakota. To learn more about it go to https://www.lightofmineranch.com/ . To make a donation use the link below.
Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at https://www.palmettocs.com.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to McALISTER-SMITH FUNERAL & CREMATION, Palmetto Cremation Society, 5638 N. Rhett Ave, North Charleston, SC 29406, (843) 722-2555.
Saturday, February 4, 2023
10:00 - 11:00am (Eastern time)
St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church
Saturday, February 4, 2023
12:30 - 1:00pm (Eastern time)
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