William E. “Bill” Combs passed quietly and peacefully on Saturday, November 9, 2013 in Grass Valley, California with his family near him. He lived a full and active life.
Bill was born in Cheyenne, Oklahoma to Charlie and Lillian Combs. He grew up on cattle ranches in West Texas and New Mexico. The family moved to California in 1947.
Bill never had the opportunity of attending school until junior high in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Bill attended Vista High School in Vista, California where he lettered in football and track. He graduated from Oceanside-Carlsbad Union High School (Oceanside High School) in Oceanside, California in 1950. He earned an Associates of Arts degree at Oceanside-Carlsbad Junior College (Mira Costa College). From there, Bill attended Cal Poly-San Dimas/Pomona.
In 1953, Bill married his wife of 60 years, Shelley Rae Jones, in Oceanside. That same year, Uncle Sam called him to service in the US Army; he served in the Veterinary Corps. Through these years, he participated in rodeos - he was a proud lifetime member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Along with rodeos, Bill helped his dad train Quarter Horses. Bill ran heavy equipment in Oceanside, first with the HW Rohl Company and then, the Crystal Silica Company, for 32 years.
He retired in August of 1989. Bill and Shelley moved to Grass Valley in 1990 to care for their parents. Though battling and conquering various types of cancer, Bill and Shelley would return “home” to Oceanside yearly to visit their family and friends.
Bill is survived by his wife Shelley, sons Chuck (Nikki) of the Monterey area, Bob of Grass Valley, and John (Lauren) of Oceanside, granddaughters Allison of San Francisco, and Natalie of Santa Cruz, and goddaughter Trina Reber of Nuevo, California.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hospice of the Foothills, 12399 Nevada City Highway, Grass Valley, CA 95945
Graveside services will be held on Monday, November 18th at 1 p.m. at Greenwood Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Grass Valley. Arrangements are under
the direction of Hooper & Weaver Mortuary, Nevada City, California.