Walter Edward “Ed” Warner-Combs was born on April 4, 1932, in Kansas City, Missouri, to Ruby (Castor) Combs and William (Grady) Combs. He passed away on April 1, 2018.
Ed was raised on dirt floors for much of his youth and often told stories about the struggles of life during the Great Depression. It is from this experience that he gained an appreciation for all things. He could think of a purpose for just about anything he came across. As a youth, his mother married Chester “Chet” Warner and adopted Ed and his sister Anne.
Ed graduated from Preston High School in Preston, Oklahoma, in May of 1950. He remained in contact with his classmates for the rest of his life. Ed served in the United States Army from 1952 to 1954. This experience took him on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to Germany.
Ed married Kathryn Mason in 1954. Ed and Kathryn had two children together, Constance “Connie” and Kevin. Ed and his family moved to Jordan in 1960, where he and Kathryn both were schoolteachers in a one-room schoolhouse. He moved to Fromberg in 1964 and purchased a one-bedroom house on a corner lot. He was amazed that through his life he was successful enough to eventually purchase the entire 1/2 block.
With the encouragement and support of his family, he obtained a master’s degree in guidance and counseling. He was the first in his family to obtain a college education. Having obtained this degree, he was able to work as a school superintendent. He served as superintendent of Rapelje, Joplin-Inverness, and Fromberg Schools in Montana.
After the tragic passing of Kathryn in 1985, he met Catherine “Kate” Kent. They were married in 1986. Together, they have five children.
Ed loved his family dearly. Each day, he lived to see them safely come in and out. He possessed a strong sense of wrong and right. He was forever encouraging his children to make good choices, to have a conviction and to do what was right despite the repercussions, and to love one another. He reminded them that, “You are no better than any man that lived, but you are just as good.” He encouraged excellence and stressed the importance of education. He loved God and had a strong sense of trust in the Lord. And, as those that knew him can attest, he was fiercely protective and proud of his family.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Ruby and Grady; stepmother Ina; stepfather Chet; sister Anne; son Kevin; first wife Kathryn; son-in-law Francis Russell; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
He is survived by his wife Catherine “Kate”; daughter Constance “Connie” Russell; daughter Meghan Combs; son Luke Combs (Mary); son John Combs; daughter Sarah Wheeler (Patrick); and son Matthew Combs. His grandchildren, Kevin (Katie) Roberts (great-grandson Edward), Kathryn (Joe) Peterson, Michael Russell, David Russell, Marie Wheeler, and soon-to-be-born Anna Combs brought him much joy. He was looking forward to meeting Anna and his second unborn great-grandchild.
Visitation will be from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Fromberg. His funeral will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 5, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Interment will take place after the funeral mass at Rockvale Cemetery. A luncheon will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hall directly after interment. Please come and share memories of Ed with his family as they seek comfort and peace during this time of grief.