William B. Coombs
1935 - 2018
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Sergeant Major William B. Coombs, U.S. Army (Ret.), died Thursday, October 11, 2018 at Newton-Wellesley Hospital following a period of declining health. He was 83. "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more." | Wm. Shakespeare No more eloquent testimony can be found to describe the valor of Waltham's Bill Coombs who deployed to Vietnam six times during his thirty year career with the United States Army. Bill's selfless devotion to duty, honor and courage define the word hero . . . he was the real deal. After graduating from high school he joined the United States Army and rose to the rare enlisted rank of Sergeant Major. Fourteen of his years were spent with Army Special Forces units and the rest with logistics units. In addition to weapons and reconnaissance training he became a master parachutist. Two Bronze Stars were among the many decorations he earned and at retirement was awarded the Legion of Merit. Bill was a graduate of Hawaii Pacific University. He was a member of the Special Forces Association, the Elks, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Berlin Military Veterans Association, the Combat Infantryman's Association, the Moose, the Sergeants Major Association and the Enlisted Association. Bill was a son of the late James A. and Mary C. (Ford) Coombs and while not serving with the military had been a lifelong Waltham resident. He leaves his brother, James Coombs and his wife, Philomena (Heaney), of Dracut; his nephew and nieces, William Coombs of Englewood, New Jersey, Lisa (Coombs) Greene and her husband, Roger El-Hachem, of Farmington, Connecticut and Karen (Coombs) Weeks and her husband, John, of Billerica and his grand-nieces, Olivia Ketchian-Coombs, Camilla El-Hachem, Ava El-Hachem, Jessica Weeks and Jillian Weeks. Family and friends will honor and remember Bill's life by gathering for calling hours in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20), Waltham on Wednesday, October 17th from 4 to 8 p.m. and again at 9 a.m. on Thurs- day morning before leaving in procession to Sacred Heart Church, 311 River Street, Waltham where his Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Burial will be in Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne at 1 p.m.

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Published in Waltham News Tribune from Oct. 18 to Oct. 25, 2018.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
OCT
18
Calling hours
09:00 AM
OCT
18
Funeral Mass
10:00 AM
OCT
18
Burial
01:00 PM
Massachusetts National Cemetery
Funeral services provided by
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MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
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23 entries
July 1, 2019
Bill and I served together in the 10th in Bad Toelz. Bill made me feel right at home...we did manage to keep in touch. He took time to visit me a number of times. When Bill had the stroke it was sad. He gave so much. I miss you.
Catch you on the other side..
.Ken w
Ken Walton
Served In The Military Together
January 14, 2019
I knew Bill when we served together in the 10th SFG, Fort Devens, Massachusetts. As part of our 10th SFG operations, we went to Newberry England in the summer of 1970.

It was always a pleasure to spend time with Bill. He was always a gentlemen

I lost contact with Bill sometime about 1985.

I only recently found out he had passed. An excellent soldier and a good friend.

See you on the other side Bill.
October 26, 2018
Rest in Peace, Bill. You were always a friend and colleague...and a hoot to listen to.
JT Gard
October 23, 2018
Karen and Family

So sorry for the loss of your Uncle Bill.

Love Betty Rupp and Family
BETTY RUPP
October 19, 2018
May he Rest In Peace Eternal
and Condolences to his family
David Nicolow
October 19, 2018
It was a pleasure and honor to have served with you over the years.

Rest in peace

John C.
October 18, 2018
Condolences from Chapter 72. SFA. may God bless you, your family and friends.
Chaplain(SFA-72) -DON Miller
October 18, 2018
My deepest condolences to the lost of Bill Coombs, It was an honor to know the History of Bill Coombs from his sister-in-law, Philomena Coombs.

RIP

Jane Maker
Jane Maker
October 16, 2018
Bill was of great service to Chapter 54 of the Special Forces Assn. He helped me send to his adopted SF unit, when they deployed, with the abundant care packages. These Green Beret's REALLY appreciated it.
Chris R
Friend
October 15, 2018
Bill was a wonderful, kind man. I greatly enjoyed his wit and good humor; and always looked forward to seeing him again at SFA meetings. We corresponded often via email. I'll surely miss him, as I'm certain many others will too. God bless you, Bill. Rest in peace. Sean McNiff
Robert "Sean" McNiff
Friend
October 15, 2018
RIP
John F.
Served In The Military Together
October 15, 2018
Bill Coombs and I worked together helping Robin Moore assit the author Raymond F. Flaherty produce He Didn't Say Good-Bye.
Now Robin, Ray and Bill have passed.
John costello
Served In The Military Together
October 15, 2018
Bill,you personally kept me informed of all matters dealing with Chapter 54.My brothers , Greg and Jerry and I, will keep you in our prayers. We were also assigned to the 8th SFGp in Panama. God Speed., My Friend

Keep Smiling Old Friend
Donald Marnon
Served In The Military Together
October 14, 2018
Bill was a great man. We spoke several times over the years and I enjoyed his company at the Chapter 54 picnics and at the Special Forces Assoc. conventions. My condolences to his family. May GOD hold him close.
Dan Pierelli
Friend
October 14, 2018
Rest In Peace brother.
Paul LaFrance
Served In The Military Together
October 14, 2018
RIP Bill, Chapter 54 will miss you, always like talking to Bill
Rick Parziale
Acquaintance
October 14, 2018
RIP SGM. De Oppresso Liber. SSG Frank Roark Chapter 54. Another greatest generation has passed.
Frank Roark
Served In The Military Together
October 14, 2018
A true and devoted friend in SFA. I will miss those E-mails
George Durfee
Friend
October 14, 2018
Bill,
RIP brother
Dick Nazzaro
Served In The Military Together
October 14, 2018
Joe Waskas
October 14, 2018
All our sympathy and prayers, the Officers and Members of the Special Forces Association, Boston Chapter 54, Bernie Wilensky, Secretary
Bernard Wilensky
Friend
October 14, 2018
I remember Bill, going out of his way to entertain and be a travel guide for my son, Ben and me in 2004. We were visiting the Boston area to see some old "stomping grounds" of mine from my high school days in the early 60's. I knew Bill from the Special Forces List and mentioned that I was going to be in the area. He took time off to meet us and take us to Lexington and Concord and then a great lunch. Along the way we went to the aide of Robin Moore, who was broken down. All in all it was a great day with a great guy. My sincere and deep condolences.

Mike Rhode
Leaburg, Oregon
Michael Rhode
October 14, 2018
Knew Bill from the SF List and got to meet him at man SFA Conventions. Was a man I was proud to know.
Vernon Cole
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