Irene M. Combs, 100, died peacefully March 23, 2018 at John Knox Village in Lee’s Summit, Missouri surrounded by her family. Irene was born in Allendale, MO on May 17, 1917, the youngest daughter of Frank and Mabel Martin. Irene spent a large part of her youth and attended school in Allendale and Grant City, MO. Prior to high school graduation, Irene began teaching at the age of 16 in a one room school house near her home.
In Allendale, she met and married the love of her life, Gleason Combs. They were married on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1937. Together they were blessed with two children. Irene and Gleason owned and operated the Grant City Dry Cleaners until 1957 at which time the family moved to Hamilton, MO having purchased the Hamilton Dry Cleaners. Following several successful years in Hamilton, Mr. Combs obtained an ownership interest in Red X Motors in Cameron, MO which he operated until his retirement.
In the summer of 1957 Irene continued her education at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville. Her studies culminated in a BA degree in elementary education at which time she began an outstandingthirty-two-year career in public education. For many years Irene taught third grade for the Hamilton R-2 School District. She continued her studies receiving an MA degree from the University of Central Missouri, becoming a reading specialist for the Hamilton R-2 District. Teaching and helping young people was Irene’s passion and her calling. She truly loved her students.
Irene had a deep faith in the Lord. She was an active member of the Hamilton United Methodist Church. A longtime resident of Hamilton, Irene served on the church board, taught Sunday school, and served as a lay speaker at many rural churches in the area. Upon moving to the Lee’s Summit area, Irene became a member of the Lee’s Summit United Methodist Church and attended regularly.
Irene had many talents and hobbies. Among them she gardened and canned, she was a great cook and baker. Her family always claimed she made the best cherry pie in the region. In later years she took up photography and became an excellent china painter. Irene was an avid reader and enjoyed singing in the church choir.
Following their retirement, Irene and Gleason traveled, spending many winters in Arizona before moving to John Knox Village in Lee’s Summit to be near their daughters.
Irene is preceded in death by her husband, Gleason V. Combs, her parents, Frank and Mabel Martin, her two sisters Wanda and Gladys and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. She is survived by her children, Judy Bost (Andy) and Alisa K. Scully (Bill), two grandchildren, Judith Powelson (Curt), and Marci Bates (Chris), and four great-grandchildren, Olivia, Madilynn, Daxton and Hudson.
Our family would like to thank the wonderful staff at John Knox Village for the love and care of our mom for the past several years and to John Knox Hospice.
Cremation with a grave site service will be held at Highland Cemetery in Hamilton, MO on July 7, 2018. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the National Federation of the Blind or to the United Methodist Church of Lee’s Summit.