Obituary for James D. Combs
James Dean Combs, age 51, of Watkins Glen, unexpectedly went to be with the Lord on September 12, 2017 surrounded by family and friends. He was born in Ithaca, NY on March 28, 1966 to Fay and Nancy (Dean) Combs. He was predeceased by his grandparents, Ray and Alice Fay (Stewart) Combs and Paul and Reva (Landon) Dean, as well as many uncles, aunts, and cousins. He was a brother to Julie (James) O’Brien, Valerie (Michael) Moore, and Raymond (Lisa) Combs. He was an uncle to twelve nieces and two nephews. He also had many great nieces, nephews, and cousins. He grew up in Reynoldsville and was a member of Reynoldsville United Methodist Church. In 1984, Jim graduated from Watkins Glen High School where he was an All-American football player, as well as a successful basketball and track athlete. He was inducted into the WGHS football hall of fame and spent many years coaching small-fry, high school, and semi-pro football teams. While attending Cortland State University, Jim met his wife Mary Ann (Mattera) Combs. They were faithfully married for 30 years and have three children; Matthew (Brittany) Combs, Steven (Sarah) Combs, and Deanne (David) Houseknecht. One of his greatest joys in the past year was becoming “Papa Jim” to his grandsons Clive and Valor. Jim was a dedicated employee of NYSEG for 28 years and built strong friendships with his coworkers. He also enjoyed doing masonry work with his father and brother for many years. He was a gifted communicator, a mentor and father-figure to many, and one who was eager to minister to those around him. Jim will be remembered as a man of strong faith, a great son and brother, a loving husband and father, and a kind friend. Family will receive friends and relatives at Royce-Chedzoy Funeral Home, 212 E. 4th St., Watkins Glen, on Friday (Sept. 15th) from 3PM-6PM; followed by a memorial service celebrating his life at 6:00PM. Following the service, a reception will be held at Reynoldsville United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his memory to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital (www.stjude.org). You may express condolences to the family or “Light a Candle of Remembrance” online at www.RoyceChedzoy.com.