Obituary: Mary Jane Combs

January 15, 1931 ~ May 7, 2022

Mary Jane Leake Combs, 90, of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, died peacefully on May 7, 2022 at the Pete and Jelaine Horton Skilled Nursing and Hospice Care Center at Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

Jane was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but spent most of her childhood in Cincinnati and lived most of her adult life in her beloved Lexington, Kentucky.  

Jane was an adventurous spirit who placed a high value on education.  She went back to school in the early 1970’s to complete her BA in Education at the University of Kentucky – even though she was a mother of four young children at the time. Jane was an avid reader, and enjoyed participating in numerous book clubs throughout her life.  She also enjoyed traveling.  Jane has been to all fifty states.  And with Kilmer, her loving husband of 49 years, Jane enjoyed trips to far away destinations, including Australia and New Zealand, Tahiti, Europe and Costa Rica.

Jane also believed in the importance of giving back – a passion she passed on to her children and grandchildren.  For over twenty-five years, Jane served as a volunteer for Hospice of the Bluegrass, helping families navigate difficult end-of-life decisions.   She was a proud member of the Lexington Women’s Club and volunteered in a variety of ways at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Lexington, Kentucky.  Jane also delivered meals to shut ins for Meals on Wheels and recorded audiobooks for the Central Kentucky Reading for the Blind. 

Throughout her life, Jane always had many dear friends.  She had a special way of making others feel at ease.  Many have been touched by her kindness.

Jane was preceded in death by her husband, C. Kilmer Combs – a senior partner at Wyatt Tarrant & Combs law firm- and her son-in-law Michael Warren. She is survived by four children – Mike Combs of Lexington, Kentucky, Celia Warren of Fountain Hills, Arizona, Reverend Bill Combs (Jennifer) of Buford, Georgia, and Cathy Laba (Wally) of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, four grandchildren – Jessica Eldridge (Dylan), Anne Warren, Emily Combs and Sam Combs – and one great grandchild, Oliver Eldridge.

A funeral service will be held at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church on May 17th.  Burial will follow at Lexington Cemetery.

The family would like to thank the amazing staff at Pinecrest Village, the Skilled Nursing Facility at the Door County Medical Center and Unity Hospice for the kindness and compassion they showed Jane during these final years of her life.  We also want to recognize Nate Kraemer, Christine Webb-Miller, Sue Dahms, and Nicole Wiesner  – who did big things and small to make Mom’s transition to Door County as smooth as possible.  You are truly angels on earth.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hospice, St. Jude’s or Kentucky Educational Television.  Forbes Funeral Home of Sturgeon Bay is assisting the family with arrangements.