James Edward Coombes
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Feb. 16, 1926-May 11, 2013
Resident of Aptos
James Edward Coombes, 87, of Aptos died on May 11 at home from complications related to throat cancer. A commercial airline pilot for 33 years with United Airlines, he retired with the rank of Captain. He received his flight training in the U.S. Navy and served in the Korean War and the naval reserve for 14 years.
Jim was an enthusiastic aviator. A well-known figure at the Watsonville Airport, he frequently flew his own Citabria, a single engine, aerobatic plane, from coast to coast and border to border. Jim had many pilots as friends and colleagues and was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, The Flying Octogenarians and The Quiet Birdmen.
Born on February 16, 1926 in Glendale, California, to George W. and Marie (Bartlett ) Coombes, Jim attended North Hollywood High School and the University of California at Los Angeles. He earned an A.A. in Mechanical Engineering from Los Angeles City College in 1948.
Jim will be greatly missed by his family: his devoted wife of 59 years, Dea; daughter Laurie Treleven and husband Richard; son Jack Coombes and wife Kate Shea; and daughter Julie Hollinger and granddaughter Naomi. He is also survived by his brother, George William Coombes III, of Midland, Texas.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the Hospice of Santa Cruz County and suggests that memorial donations be made to them at www.hospicesantacruz.org or by mail to 940 Disc Drive, Scotts Valley, CA 95066.
A celebration of Jim's life will be held at the Watsonville Airport on June 15 at 11:00 am in Tom Hoyt Park.
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on May 22, 2013