Anderson Funeral Home

1357 E. 2Nd St., Franklin, OH


John Combs

April 25, 1944August 6, 2019

Combs, John Albert – 75, passed away on Tuesday, August 6, 2019, Dayton, Ohio.

John “Doc” Combs was an economist and retired college instructor who served as a combat corpsman of the United States Department of the Navy in Vietnam from 1968 – 1969 first with Alpha Battery, 1/12, 3rd Marine Division, Delta Company, 3rd Medical Bn., 3rd Marine Division, and the remainder with the hospital ship, the USS Sanctuary. He was a decorated veteran with three Bronze Stars, including a Bronze Star “V”, C.A.R. He authored the book, “Mercy Warriors – Saving Lives Under Fire“, regarding his own and other corpsmen and nurses’ experiences on the Vietnam battlefield, published to illustrate the dedication and courage they possessed, and the physical and mental health trials they endured later in life as a result.

He was in the graduating class of 1962, West Carrollton High School, earned a dual Master of Science in Agriculture and Economics from the University of Kentucky in May, 1973. He was a Mason and active in DeMolay, and he was involved in many civic projects, such as helping to raise money by collecting cans to recycle for children’s books for the Astor County Library, Astor, Florida, where he lived for 40 years. An avid walker, he arose early most mornings to walk three to five miles. He loved the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals, and especially the Kentucky Wildcats Basketball team. He was a talented member of the Jackson Guild theater group of Franklin, Ohio, and he dearly loved his pets.

Born on April 25, 1944, in Boise, Idaho, to his late parents, Corbett Albert Combs and Sarah Ellen (Hanks) Combs, he moved with them to Dayton, where he was raised with his four younger siblings. As a youth he had a paper route through high school to save money for college, worked at a local grocery store, and began to umpire baseball and softball games during his college years, which he passionately continued for over 20 years. While working at ARMCO Steel one summer break, he met and married the love of his life, Donna Rae (Hawkins) Combs on June 17, 1967, for 52 years of marriage. He and Donna raised her three children, son Timothy, and two daughters, Tami and Lisa.

He is survived by his wife, Donna, his brothers William (Julie) Combs of Castro Valley, CA, David Combs of Columbus, OH, his sisters Patricia (Thomas) Thomas of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Sandy Bryant of Dayton, OH, his stepson Timothy (Patricia) McKenzie of Auburndale, FL, his stepdaughters Tami Metzger of Middletown, OH, and Lisa (Kurt) Nichols, Santo, TX, five step-grandchildren, three step-great grandchildren.

Visitation: 5:00 to 8:00 pm Monday August 19, 2019 at Anderson Funeral Home 1357 East 2nd Street, Franklin, OH.

Funeral Services: 11:00 am Tuesday August 20, 2019 at Anderson Funeral Home 1357 East 2nd Street Franklin, OH.

Burial: 1:00 pm Tuesday August 20, 2019 at Dayton Veteran’s National Cemetery, 4400 W Third St, Dayton, OH 45428


20 August

Funeral Ceremony

11:00 am

Anderson Funeral Homes Franklin

1357 East Second Street
Franklin, OH 45005

20 August

Graveside Service

1:00 pm

Dayton National Cemetery

4400 West Third Street
Dayton, OH 45431


  • Visitation Monday, August 19, 2019


John Combs

have a memory or condolence to add?

Bill Awsumb

August 17, 2019

I learned things about John I did not know. His work for children's books, and his own book. John was a wonderful father and husband. My entire family is thinking about Donna and family.

Casey Rhode

August 17, 2019

I will forever cherish our talks Uncle John. Your worldview and knowledge that you shared with me is held dear to my heart. I wish I could have seen you one more time. You were just so dear to me and I am sad to see you go for now, but I know that I will see you again. Holding Aunt Donna and family high in love, light, and prayers. Love Casey

Tara Collins

August 14, 2019

John and Donna were some of my most loyal patrons at the VFW Post 9986 in Astor, FL. They always shared a smile and good stories. My deepest condolences to the families.

David Combs

August 13, 2019

John is my oldest brother, as a young preschooler my brother took me to the Dayton air show and John would put me on his shoulders as the planes would fly over. I always loved my brother for taking an interest in me and giving me this and many other experience's.

I'll never forget you big brother. Rest In Peace.