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Bruce Combs, 76, medieval literature professor who devoted last 17 years to art

Bruce Combs died peacefully on July 21, 2015, at Morningside of Williamsburg after a long struggle with emphysema. He was 76.

Bruce was born in Portland, Oregon, to Arthur and Winnifred Combs and he spent his childhood in McMinnville, Oregon. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D in English literature from the University of Oregon.

Specializing in medieval literature, he taught for many years at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and at Portland Community College in Portland. After retiring from teaching, Bruce spent nine years living in Holland and the remainder of his life in Williamsburg.

In 1998, Bruce took up painting and he spent the following 17 years devoted to art in its many forms. His paintings grace the homes of many family members and friends. Bruce was also an avid supporter of animal rights, environmental causes and democratic politics.

Bruce was preceded in death by his sister, Doris, of Oakland, California.

He is survived by a close circle of family and loved ones in Williamsburg that include his wife, Nancy; sons, Robbie, Eric Kades and Theodore Kades; beloved brother, Norman and sister-in-law, Ethel, both of Aurora, Oregon; nephew, Brian, of Santa Fe, New Mexico; and niece, Dylan, of Portland.

A memorial service for Bruce will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, at Bucktrout Funeral Home, 4124 Ironbound Road, Williamsburg.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bruce’s memory to Heritage Humane Society, 430 Waller Mill Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185 or the National Audubon Society.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Bucktrout of Williamsburg.

To view the full list of WYDaily obituaries, click here.

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