Combs, Mary Belle

Mary Belle (Irvin) Combs
Born 10/19/1946
Died 5/22/2015
Mary Belle Irvin was born on October 19, 1946 at Shenandoah Hand Hospital in Shenandoah, Iowa; the daughter of Ronald (Shorty) and Clara (Sipes) Irvin. She was five years old when she started first grade, and she attended Westboro School for all of her twelve years. After graduating from high school in 1964, Mary went on to attend Casters Beauty School in St. Joseph, Missouri. She married Mick Lewis on December 7, 1967 and lived in Tarkio, Fairfax and Rock Port. They had two children, Mike and Beth. She worked as a beautician in Tarkio and Rock Port. They were later divorced in 1980. Mary then married Harry Robert Combs on Memorial Day Weekend in 1982. In 1990 she first became a grandma and from then on was known by everyone in the community as “Mam.” On May 22, 2015 Mary passed away at the age of 68 at the Nebraska Medical University in Omaha, Nebraska.

Growing up, Mary had two sisters, Jerilyn and Jan, and one brother Tom. When living on the farm, her older sister Jerilyn made her gather the chicken eggs because she was afraid of the chickens. As kids, they used to dress kittens up in doll clothes, play cowboys and Indians, roller skate, and play checkers. Her guns and holsters were her favorite toy and her Aunt Reece would buy her cowboy boots. Her bedroom was small and she shared it with her sister Jan. They used to draw imaginary lines down the middle of the bed and neither was to cross over it. One time she told her mother that her little brother Tom shouldn’t eat soggy cereal because it might make him sick. Tom picked up on this and said, “make me sick, make me sick.” Mary then had to eat the cereal for him and she never let him forget it!

As a child, she attended the United Methodist Church in Westboro. She loved singing throughout her life and always sang in the junior and adult church choir. The Westboro United Methodist Church hosted Lord’s Acre Day which was a special day that she enjoyed – parade, dinner, and games. As an adult, she led the children’s choir at the Fairfax United Methodist Church for over 20 years. She enjoyed singing in a quartet with Jim Davis, Suzanne Southard and Danny Kemerling.

Mary was known for many things – her laugh, being at every event for her grandkids, inventing her own sign language as a kid with a group of friends, winning the Bubble Blowing Contest, raking leaves and having a weinie roast, loving Erma Bombeck, collector of head vases, auction and antique lover, she loved to talk and make friends with anyone around her, giving haircuts, candy was always at her house, playing peanuts, hosting family dinners, loves to read, refinishing furniture, and had the love of music.

Mary was named Volunteer of the Year for serving on many committees. Some of the volunteering she did was: Development Council at Fairfax Community Hospital, Pediatric Orientation, VBS, United Methodist Church Youth Group, Club Jam, Hospital Celebrity Waiter Dinner, teaching babysitting classes, tutor at the school, Valentine deliveries, surrogate parent at YSI, Sunday School song leader, and many others.

She was a wonderful wife, mother, sister, “mam,” aunt, niece, and friend. She is preceded in death by her parents, Ronald (Shorty) and Clara (Sipes) Irvin; and brother-in-law, Frank Primm. Survivors include husband, Harry Combs, Fairfax; children, Mike (Robin) Lewis, Beth (Jon) Graves all of Fairfax; sisters, Jerilyn Primm, Burbank, California, and Jan Irvin, Rosemead, California; brother, Tom (Connie) Irvin, Papillion, Nebraska; step-daughter, Holly (Tracy) Barnes, Fairfax; step-son, Jason (Gayle) Combs, Kearney, Nebraska; grandchildren, Jaycee, Jesse and Braden Graves, Amber and Baylee Lewis, Grant, Ryan and Max Hopkins, Spencer (Lindsey) Barnes, Jase and Goldie Barnes, Tate and Oliver Combs, Dustin (Erica) Barnes and Kelly (Mat) Pruitt; many other cousins, nieces, nephews and other relatives.

Funeral Service:
1:00 P.M., Tuesday, May 26, 2015, Fairfax United Methodist Church.
Open visitation begins 10:00 A.M., Monday, May 25, 2015, at Davis Funeral Home, Tarkio, where the family will receive friends from 6:00-7:00 P.M., that evening.
The body will be cremated following the funeral service. A private family inurnment will be held at a later date at English Grove Cemetery, Fairfax.
Burial Location