CHARDON - Ralph D. Combs, age 86 of Chardon, died April 23, 2019 at Blossom Hill Care Center, surrounded by his loving family.
Born June 30, 1932 in Stringtown, Ohio, to Ralph Henry Combs and Dorothy Hollis (nee: Beal) Combs. He has been a Chardon resident for 61 years.
Ralph was a 1950 graduate of Newcomerstown High School. Remembered by his classmates, "able, active with brains and poise, he does a lot without much noise" described him well.
He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force after graduation and was stationed in the Philippines for 2 years.
Upon his discharge he enrolled at Kent State University to earn his degree in 3 years while working full time at Goodyear Tire and Rubber as Wrae was busy at home raising the first 3 of their eventual 7 children.
Ralph began his teaching career at Ledgemont and Kenston Schools prior to his 26 years at Chardon High School where he taught Industrial Arts and Drafting, retiring in 1986. To this day, his family is often reminded by former students of the impact he had on their lives and careers.
He was also the owner and operator of Combs Decorating in Chardon, spending summer breaks from teaching beautifying homes in the local area and passing on his skills to his sons.
As a member of the Geauga County community, Ralph volunteered his time throughout his life, including being a board member of the Geauga YMCA and giving more than 4,000 hours of service at UH Geauga Medical Center, delivering mail and greeting visitors.
Ralph is survived by his wife of 65 Years, Rocilla Wrae (nee: Carr), whom he married on July 19, 1953 at College Street Methodist Church in Newcomerstown, OH; children, Pam (Bill) French, Mike (Stacey), Dave (Terri), Dan (Lori), John (Lisa), Paul (Charlie), Margaret (Joe) Cepulo, 16 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. He also leaves his brother Ron (Becky) Combs.
The family would like to extend special thanks to Blossom Hill Care Center, Dr. Matthew Pawlicki, UH Geauga Medical Center, Seidman Cancer Center and First Light Home Care.
Always an educator, Ralph continues to teach others by the donation of his body to the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University.
The family will receive friends on Friday, May 3, 2019 from 4:00 – 7:00 PM at the Burr Funeral Home, 116 South St., Chardon. Memorial Service will be held Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 1:00 PM at the funeral home. The family suggests donations to Blossom Hill Care Center, 12496 Princeton Rd., Huntsburg, OH 44046. Information and condolences at www.burrservice.com.