Robert P. McCombs

Robert P. "Bob" McCombs, 84, of 83 Birchwood Drive, Lehighton, died Sunday, Nov. 4, after a brief courageous struggle with cancer. He was the husband of Jane J. (Johnson) McCombs, with whom he shared 62 years of marriage.
Born in Ithaca, N.Y., he was a son of the late Peter and Lena (Terryberry) McCombs.
He was valedictorian of the Class of 1945 of Trumansburg High School, Trumansburg, N.Y., and attended college for one year at Cornell University before enlisting in the U.S. Navy during World War II, having served as a radio technician aboard the U.S.S. Saipan.
He later earned a bachelor of science degree from the New York State College of Agriculture at Cornell.
He was employed in Carbon County as a soil conservationist and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for over 15 years, retiring in 1966 due to disability caused by Multiple Sclerosis.
McCombs continued being involved in the field of conservation by serving for over 30 years as a director of the Carbon County Soil Conservation District.
He also worked as a teacher for special education in Weissport.
The deceased was involved with the development of Mauch Chunk Lake, and was a past director of Red Cross.
He was a very active member of Faith Alive United Methodist Church, Palmerton, where he was a former trustee.
He served as a Soil Conservation District associate director.
McCombs was a 30-plus-year member of the Lehighton Rotary Club, where he was a past president and a Paul Harris Fellow recipient in 1988.
He served as a director for the Carbon County Action Committee and as a tax assessor for Mahoning Township, and was an official topographic map dealer.
The deceased was a life member of the Paralyzed Disabled Veterans. He started the MS support group of Carbon County and, in 1982, he led a group of people in wheelchairs to downtown Lehighton to demonstrate the need for sidewalk ramps.
Among the awards he received were top Conservationist of the Year in Pa. in 1977; The Handicapped Pennsylvanian of the Year in 1980; and the Outstanding Conservationist of Carbon County in 1988.
Surviving in addition to his widow are three daughters, Susan M., wife of James Sandt of Lehighton, Linda J., wife of Artie Witherbee of Palmyra, and Leslie J., wife of Nolan Wernett Jr. of Jim Thorpe; a sister, Paulena Usher of Trumansburg; four granddaughters, four grandsons, a great-grandson and nieces and nephews.
He was also predeceased by a daughter, Nancy Lee McCombs, who died in 1968.
Service: Funeral service 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9, Faith Alive United Methodist Church, 678 Pine St., Palmerton (Bowmanstown area) with the Rev. Lou Troester officiating. Interment with full military honors, Lehighton Cemetery, under direction of Lehighton Area UVO. Call 9:30-11 a.m. Friday in the church. Contributions in his name may be made to the church, 18071, or the Lehigh Valley Hospice, 2166 S. 12th St., Allentown, Pa. 18103. Arrangements by Andrew P. Ovsak Funeral Home, Fourth and Iron streets, Lehighton. Online condolences can be offered at

Published in Times News on Nov. 7, 2012