Bruce E. Combs

July 21, 2015
Bruce E. Combs

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Bruce Combs, 76, passed away peacefully on July 21, 2015 at Morningside of Williamsburg, after a long struggle with emphysema. Bruce was born in Portland, Oregon to Arthur and Winnifred Combs, and he spent his childhood in McMinnville, Oregon. He earned his B.A, M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Oregon. Specializing in Medieval Literature, he taught for many years at Howard University in Washington DC and at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon. After retiring from teaching, Bruce spent nine years living in Holland and the remainder of his life in Williamsburg, Virginia.

In 1998, Bruce took up painting, and he spent the following 17 years devoted to art in its many forms. His paintings grace the homes of many family members and friends. Bruce was also an avid supporter of animal rights, environmental causes, and Democratic politics.

Bruce was predeceased by his sister Doris, of Oakland, California.

He is survived by a close circle of family and loved ones in Williamsburg Virginia that includes, his wife, Nancy, his son, Robbie, Eric Kades, and Theodore Kades. He is also survived by his beloved brother, Norman, his sister-in-law, Ethel, both of Aurora, Oregon, his nephew, Brian, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and his niece, Dylan, of Portland, Oregon.

A memorial service for Bruce will be held on Saturday, September 5th at 3 p.m. at Bucktrout Funeral Home, 4124 Ironbound Rd., Williamsburg, VA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bruceís memory to Heritage Humane Society, 430 Waller Mill Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185 or the National Audubon Society.


Saturday, September 5, 2015
12:00 AM

Bucktrout Funeral Home - Directions
4124 Ironbound Road
Williamsburg, VA 23188

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  • August 04, 2015
    Pam Taylor says:
    Thank you, dear Bruce, for many years of friendship and happy times and so many amazing insights into the world of art that you shared with us. And your generous sharing of wisdom around other creative areas too - music and musicians (you can now speak directly to Nina Simone about hers!) and literature, architecture and painters, sculptors, reflections, Riker birds, nature in all its awesome glory - thank you! Rest in peace, old friend, from the physical demands of this world - though I'm sure that from heaven you will keep battling for equality and justice and the protection of global environments here on earth...We will miss your gentleness and your insights into our world. Xxxxx

  • August 26, 2015
    John Taylor says:
    Goodbye Old Friend It is hard to believe that you are no longer with us. Thank you for opening my eyes to the beauty of art and to some of the striving and magnificent successes that people have had in expressing life in paint. Somehow I can imagine you being reincarnated as a Reiger Bird standing in the bright light of a Dutch Polder Though life for you often seemed so difficult, when I think of you I am reminded of the many good times we had. The Choir in York Cathedral; mountain roads in Tuscany; goats cheese, alfalfa sprouts and peanut butter sandwiches; cloves and ham; the View of Delft; and reflections in a canal. I will miss you Bruce. Bon Voyage

  • August 27, 2015
    Kantha Osman says:
    Dear Bruce Thank you for your acquaintance and happening in my life journey,you shown great courage to change from being a professor to an artist in your own right.I remember all the wonderful times in The Hague.The museums,exhibitions and sculptures that we've been with you,especially you being very informative ,will be cherished. Thank you for lovely paintings,The reflections(in the canal,in The Hague) and especially the paintings of Yoni and Suki. Abide in peace,with love always, Kantha, Yoni and Suki xxx

  • August 30, 2015
    Edwina and David Gillan says:
    Farewell Bruce, although we knew you but briefly, we could see a man who had a passion for his arts and causes dear to your heart. We enjoyed the Christmas visits you made to the Taylor family and joining you all for mammoth dinners and playing games of stratergy! Rest in peace dear Bruce. Edwina, David, Kate and Laura Gillan x

  • September 02, 2015
    Hoyt Greeson (PhD, 1970) U of Oregon in Medieval Literature) says:
    Bruce, I recall listening to recordings by Frances Fay at your apartment in Eugene, about two centuries ago. I lost track long ago as we went into our own diaspora but I remember you were headed for a job at Howard University. I decided on an academic job in Canada, and I'm still here, retired 19 years ago. I've kept in touch with classmates Ray Benoit, Jack Foster and Ed Milowicki, and attended a gathering of our UO English classmates in Eugene about 7 years ago. As for the Rest, Pax Vobiscum. Hoyt Greeson, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada