Wesley Vincent Combs, 80, of Montrose, SD passed away Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, SD. Funeral mass will begin at 11 am on Monday, November 22, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Montrose, SD. Family will be present one hour prior to greet visitors.
Wes was born April 10, 1941 to Wilbert and Genevieve “Genny” (Klein) Combs in Glendale CA. In 1951 the family moved to Russellville, AR to farm. Four consecutive draught years resulted in their move to Grafton, IA where his dad started over. In high school Wes sang in chorus, participated in competitive speech events, acted in school plays and played basketball and baseball. The summer after he graduated from Grafton High School, Wes joined the Western Engineering Company of Harlan, IA where he worked for 46 years rising up the ranks to project superintendent
After the family’s move to Grafton, IA Wes met the love of his life, Claudia Mary Sheka. They married on June 30, 1962. Wes and Claudia began dating and dancing during her freshman year. Because Claudia’s parents forbade her to date senior boys, Wes had to be strategic and asked out her older sister and ask her to bring Claudia along too. They engaged her senior year and Wes whisked her away to live in Harlan, Iowa. They immediately started their family of three children.
Working for an asphalt company created a nomadic existence for the family. The Western Engineering Company families became their family, neighbors and social life. When the children needed to start school, they bought a lot in Harlan, Iowa and started building a house relying on the Reader’s Digest do-it-yourself manual. Wes and Claudia did the work themselves and completed their house in 1975.
Wes retired in 2006. Even before retiring Wes and Claudia travelled extensively through FL, AZ, and TX on the quest for the best winter weather and the best dancing. They immersed themselves in the Valley dancing culture and enjoyed warm winters in Alamo, Texas since 1992. They moved to Montrose, SD after retirement where he again provided the labor to build a “Shouse” on their son’s acreage where they lived in the summer.
Wes was a member of the St. Michaels Catholic Church in Harlan Iowa until they moved to Montrose, SD where they became members of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. He especially loved the services at the Cathedral in South TX in the winter. Wes loved dancing, car racing, NBA basketball (Warriors), and country music. Even after Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease became a part of his life in 2018, Wes still enjoyed watching NASCAR Racing and Sunday morning church services from the Cathedral in Sioux Falls.
Wesley is survived by: his wife, Claudia of Montrose SD; his children, Robin (George) Buthmann of Indianola, IA, Denton Combs (Robin Westhoff) of Montrose, SD and Jeanette (Mark) Carlson of LaCrosse, WI; his grandchildren Allyssa, Wes (Kristin), Gabe, Dalton (Morgan), Natasha, Asher and Aunna; his great-grandson Wesley Jacob; his siblings, Eileen (Chuck) Coker of Burlington, KS, Mary (Truman) Hamilton of Monticello, AR, Louise (Jerry) King of Pottsville, AR; his step-brother Alan (Debbie) Bewley of Megargel, TX as well as many beloved nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents; sister, Ruth Branch; grandson, Christopher Combs; Daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Combs; Step-mother, Hilda Bewley; step-brothers Robert Bewley and Steven Bewley.