September 23, 1925 - October 16, 2009
Longtime Steamboat Springs resident Shirley Combs died Oct. 16 after a short bout of pneumonia at the Evergreen Nursing Home in Bremerton, Wash., where her daughter, Linda Flood, worked as a physical therapist. Shirley was 84 years old.
Born in Steamboat on Sept. 23, 1925, Shirley lived her life as a member of two of the oldest Routt County families. Her grandparents moved to Steamboat from Leadville and homesteaded near the confluence of Servis Creek and the Yampa River shortly after 1900. She attended grade school in Oak Creek until her father, Wesley Poulson, moved to Steamboat where he served for nearly 30 years as the Routt County treasurer. The family lived on Woodchuck Hill just below the present site of Colorado Mountain College’s Alpine Campus, in the second home built by Steamboat founder John Crawford.
Shirley attended Steamboat Springs High School where she was a cheerleader and began dating her future husband, Donald Combs, whose family also moved to Steamboat before 1910.
Donald and Shirley attended Denver University, where Shirley studied business and Don attended on an athletic scholarship, playing basketball and football. A case of meningitis for Don cut short their college studies, and the newlyweds came back to Steamboat to raise their three children.
Shirley was active in the community.
She belonged to the Ladies Recreation Club, the local square-dancing group, taught Sunday school at the Methodist Church for more than 20 years and served as the first secretary of the church. She worked for many years in the Routt County Clerk’s office where she served as deputy clerk under Eunice Dorr.
For health reasons, she and Don reluctantly moved to Naples, Fla., several years ago. After Don died, Shirley moved to Washington and lived with Linda until entering the nursing home several months ago.
Shirley is survived by daughters Donna Watkins, of Golden, and Linda Flood, of Bremerton, Wash.; her son, David Combs, of Steamboat; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by both of her parents; her brother, Wesley Jr.; and her sister, Barbara Bostock.
Funeral is at noon Saturday at United Methodist Church of Steamboat Springs. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Shirley’s name to Hospice of Northwest Colorado, 940 Central Park Drive, Suite 100, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487.