Ronald Allen Combs, 67, of Lewistown, Mont., died Friday, April 24, 2013, after a tough battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his family at the time of his death.
He was born in Ottawa, Ill., on May 19, 1945, to Arlo and Clara Combs. Four months later his father passed away and his mother returned with the children to Glasgow. In 1946, his mother married Ronnie’s stepfather, Troy Brekjern, who was his dad through his growing up years.
He graduated from Glasgow High School in 1963 and continued on to receive a drafting degree from Northern Montana College in Havre in 1969. After working in Libby, he enrolled in Montana State University-Bozeman, graduating in January of 1972 with an engineering degree in construction technology.
He married Karen Anne Swenson on June 28, 1970. He spent many hours at the farm where Karen and her family grew up. He spent much time in the outdoors, and was always building a project. Their friendship grew and blossomed into a deep love. Ronnie was Karen’s “Forever Friend.” They would have been married for 43 years in June.
He has a long list of work experience. He worked as a draftsman for the St. Regis Paper Company in Libby, and on the Libby Dam after graduation from Northern Montana College. After graduation from MSU, he worked for Hilde Construction Company in Great Falls as an estimator from 1972-1990. He then joined Casino Creek Concrete as a full partner from 1990-2004. In 2004, he switched roles and became Associate Broker with Shobe Auction Realty in Lewistown until the present.
He enjoyed woodworking, tinkering on and driving his 1965 red GMC truck, planting and tending his trees, driving his tractors, buying tires, driving through the car lots, camping, road tripping in his BMW convertible, seeing the sights, and just loving adventure and travel.
Family and community were very important to him. He was actively involved in the Lewistown Kiwanis Club for the past 21 years. His favorite projects were highway cleanup and fair parking. He served on the Trust Committee for Zion Lutheran Church, served on the MCCF (Montana Contractor Compensation Fund) beginning with the establishment of it in 1993, and was an active member in the Lewistown Realtors' Association.
He was preceded in death by his father, mother and stepfather.
Survivors include his wife, Karen; one son, Todd Combs and his wife, Stephanie, of Eagle, Idaho; one daughter, Lori Edwards and her husband, Ryan, of Great Falls; four granddaughters, Megan and Allison Combs, and Kerrigan and Lacy Edwards; one sister, Diane Norman and her husband, Carl, of Wenatchee, Wash.; one brother, Charles Brekjern and his wife, JoAnne, of Missoula; many special nieces and nephews; and so many precious friends and extended family.
Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28, at the Fergus High School Performing Arts Center with Pastor Paul Seastrand of Zion Lutheran Church officiating. Cremation has taken place and his final wish was to return to his roots in Glasgow, where he will be buried this summer.
Memorial donations may be given to the Central Montana Foundation, Hospice of Central Montana, Zion Lutheran Church or Lewistown Kiwanis Club.
Creel Funeral Home of Lewistown is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences for the family can be expressed at www.creelfuneralhome.com.