Willard Dean "Mac" McCombs
1935 - 2021
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Willard Dean "Mac" McCombs

Willard Dean "Mac" McCombs died in Kenton, Ohio, on May 1, 2021, from an infection developed while recovering in hospital from a fall suffered in March. He was born June 3, 1935, in Marion, Ohio, to Melvin Gale McCombs and Goldie Cecile Cocklin. He attended Harding High School in Marion, but left in 1952 prior to graduation at age 17 to serve in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. He proudly served until retiring in 1974 as a Senior Master Sergeant. His duties took him across the globe, including service in Japan, England, Nebraska, Illinois, France, New Jersey, Delaware, and Vietnam. During the Vietnamese War, serving as a Loadmaster on C-141's, he flew 36 combat missions and was awarded the Air Medal. The highlight of his career was serving in Danang in 1972 as the Wing Sergeant Major for the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing and the 6498th Air Base Wing for which he was awarded the Bronze Star. During the later years of his life Mac suffered from dementia, which resulted in a gradual loss of his memory and a general disengagement from his normal interests in Ohio State football, farming and working on things around the house, and his family. The one thing he never lost was his pride in serving in the U.S. Air Force and the only memories he vividly maintained and shared until the end were from his time in the service of his country.

After returning from Vietnam in 1973, Mac settled down in Delaware, met and married the love of his life (Velma Lucille Small), and proceeded to raise a new mixed family. After retiring from the Air Force in 1974, he worked for nearly 30 years in the precast concrete business, mostly in Delaware, but with brief stints in Ohio and Pennsylvania, before ultimately establishing Big Oak Farms in Seaford, Delaware, and living the life of a gentleman chicken farmer. In 2000 he finally retired from the concrete and chicken business and returned to his roots in Ohio, settling on a small farm and working with his neighbor to run their big farm. Age and injuries ultimately caused Mac to move from the farm and settle in a house in Kenton, Ohio, which is where he lived until his death.

Mac leaves behind his wife of 48 years, Velma , 6 children; Ronnie Dunlap of Coshocton, OH., Dean McCombs of Lafayette, OH., Tim McCombs of Seattle, WA., Jody Povsche of Kemmerer, WY., Larry McCombs of Manchester, MI., Matthew McCombs of Parker, CO. and 13 grandchildren. Everyone who knew Mac recognized he was a take-charge kind of person. He was a worker and a doer, taking charge and getting done the things that needed to get done. In the end, when he had lost interest in his normal pursuits and could not tell you what day of the week it was, or even care what day it was, he was heard to say on multiple occasions when asked a too difficult question about the future -- "I don't know, I'm not in charge". In the end he recognized that he was not in charge, and he surrendered his fate to his redeemer, in whom he had faith, and with whom he is now at rest.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the SCHINDEWOLF-STOUT-CRATES FUNERAL HOME. Online condolences can be expressed to the family by visiting stoutcrates.com

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Published in Marion Star from May 3 to May 5, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
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May 9, 2021
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief. Think of you with prayers.
Betty Kaher
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