Al Combs

Al Combs

Wednesday, March 13th, 1935 - Friday, December 13th, 2019
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Virgil Alan “Al” Combs, 84, of Potter, passed away on Friday, December 13, 2019 at Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff, NE.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 A.M., Saturday, December 21st in the Potter-Dix Public Schools Gym in Potter. Burial will follow in the Potter Cemetery. Friends may stop at the Gehrig-Stitt Chapel in Sidney on Friday from 1-7:00 P.M. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Shirley Combs, POB 365, Potter, NE 69156, for a memorial scholarship fund to be designated at a later date. You may view Al’s Book of Memories, leave condolences, photos and stories at Gehrig-Stitt Chapel & Cremation Service, LLC is in charge of Al’s care and funeral arrangements.

Al was born Friday, March 13, 1935 in Custer City, Oklahoma to Charles and Inez (Widener) Combs, the second of three children; older sister Anna Mae (Jack) Yetter and Irma Faye Pittman. He was raised and attended school in Thomas, Oklahoma graduating in 1953. He continued his education receiving his bachelors at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, OK. During his college years, he worked as a custom harvester traveling from Texas to Canada. While cutting wheat near Gurley, NE, Al found a job opening at Potter Public Schools where applied, interviewed, and was hired as a math teacher in 1957. The following year, Al began coaching football.

On June 7, 1964, Al married Shirley Tank in the Potter United Methodist Church. To this union, two daughters were born, Cathy and Michelle.

Al continued his education receiving two master degrees from Chadron State College, in Chadron, NE and later his educational specialist’s degree in administration from the University of Wyoming in Laramie, WY. Al taught and coached for several years. He became principal in 1966 and superintendent in 1978. Al was instrumental in the consolidation of Potter and Dix Public Schools in 1987 where he served as superintendent until 2000. In May of 2000, Al retired from public schools. Following a very brief retirement, he began working as an adjunct math instructor in 2000 and full-time instructor in 2002. He retired from WNCC in 2014.

During Al’s years at Potter/Potter-Dix Public Schools, he was a member of PEA, NEA, NSEA, NSAA District 6 executive council, Western Nebraska Administrators, Phi Delta Kappa, Nebraska Council of School Administrators, Nebraska Rural Community School Association, and Nebraska Schoolmasters Club. He was president of the Minuteman Activity Conference, and Vice President of Nebraska School Activities Association, District 6.

Al received the Outstanding School Administrator Award from Nebraska Rural Community School Association in 1992, Superintendent of the Year, District 5 in 1998 and 1999, Nebraska School Activities Association Distinguished Service Award in 1999, and Who’s Who in American Education in 1992, 1999, and 2000 being a multiple year honoree.

Al certainly made a name for himself in football as well. In high school, Al quarterbacked two high school football teams to state championships in Oklahoma. During his coaching career, Al continued his success in that he was honored by the dedication of the football field dedicated in his honor. “Combs Field” was named in 1977 at Potter. The following year, he was selected as an assistant coach to the first annual Western Nebraska 11-Man All-Star Football game as well as NSAA’s 1st annual 8-man All-Star Football Game. In 1979 he was chosen as head coach for NSAA’s 8-man All-Star Football game. To cap off his football career, Al was inducted into the first class of the Nebraska 8-man Coaches Hall of Fame in 2017.

He was active in the community as an active member of the Potter United Methodist Church and Prairie West Church in Potter, Admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska, Potter Days Parade Committee, Potter Lions Club, Elks, Masonic Lodge, recipient of Jay Stecher Community Service Award, Grand Marshal for Potter Days Parade, founding member of the Potter Community Improvement association, and founding member of the Potter Historical Foundation.

Al is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Shirley; daughters Cathy (Doug) Halligan of Ogallala, NE and Michelle (Devin) Biesecker of Roca, NE; grandchildren Brennan and Aydan Halligan, Cailey, Delaney, and Kennedey Biesecker; mother-in-law Arlene Tank of Sidney, NE; brother-in-law Lanny (Carlene Muller) Tank of Lincoln, NE; nephew Glenn Yetter of Oklahoma City, OK; great niece Jamie (Homer) Webster of Thomas, OK; and dear friend of 70 years Lloyd (Ardith) Ray of Enid, Oklahoma.

He is preceded in death by granddaughter, Aliana Jo Combs Halligan; his parents; sisters and brother-in-law; niece Marsha Kaye Yetter, nephew David Yetter, and great-niece Kristi Dean; and father-in-law Loyal Tank.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, December 20th, 2019 | 1:00pm - 7:00pm
    Friday, December 20th, 2019 1:00pm - 7:00pm
    Gehrig-Stitt Chapel
    1140 10th Avenue
    SIDNEY, NE 69162
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Potter/Dix Gymnasium
    303 Walnut Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Pastor Betsy Galloway-Carew
  • Interment

    Potter Cemetery
    POTTER, NE 69156
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence
Jamie Webster sent flowers to the family of Al Combs.
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Jeff and Nicky Reetz

Posted at 08:05pm
We are sending you our love and pray Al's void in your lives will be filled with an outpouring of the Love of Jesus. We love you all! Reetz Family
Tree Image
A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Al Combs — Plant a Tree Now

David , Becky,& family

Posted at 07:43pm
With loving memories of "Al Combs",
Tree Image
A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Al Combs — Plant a Tree Now

Delbert L. Larson

Posted at 08:45pm
Family of Coach Combs, I'm sorry for your loss. He will be missed by a lot of people. He was a role model for a lot of young men and women, he taught them well. Thanks.

Robin Prochazka

Posted at 03:29pm
So sorry to hear of Mr. Combs passing. He was a great person and will be missed. Prayers to all your family. Robin(Smith) Prochazka

Lloyd Lipska

Posted at 12:45pm
A great role model for many people.

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