Having known John Combs since I was a young boy in Valdez, for over 40 years, it is with a heavy heart that I share his passing this past Friday the 22nd.

A proud and deeply involved citizen of Palmer, he served four years on the city council and then six years as mayor, before stepping down in 2010.

A few years later, John was in a severe vehicle accident back in 2012, and complications from his injuries continued to plague him all the years since the accident – becoming more and more serious over time.

His surviving spouse Linda Combs wanted to share that after the accident John had a great deal of trouble with balance and had numerous nasty falls. That led to things like broken hips and the last 3 to 4 months he was unable to even use a walker, and had become dependent on the use of a wheelchair the very little amount of time he was not in bed. For a man who was so active, this suffering state was very difficult for John to bear. John was only 72 when he passed.

A memorial service is scheduled for this Friday, December 29, at 12:10 pm at St Michael’s Parish located at 432 E Fireweed in Palmer. Time constraints and deadlines prevented an obituary from being published in the paper before Friday.

Our thoughts and prayers go out on behalf of Linda and her family as they bid John farewell and begin the process of grieving. Please feel free to attend the service at St Michael’s this Friday and pay your respects. The Combs family is large and has had a hugely positive impact on Palmer, the Mat-Su Valley, and our state.

Former Palmer Mayor John Combs Passes

Jake Libbey
Christian, husband, father, amateur-apologist and lover of good communication, our Publisher has invested countless hours bringing the Alaska Watchman to life. Jake is responsible for operations at the Watchman, advertising, and design of the website. In partnership with our Editor-in-Chief, the content for the articles on are a product of the passion, energy and synergy between Publisher and Editor-in-Chief.


  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Rest in peace Mr. Combs.

  • Neil DeWitt says:

    I know Mr. Combs. Great man with down to earth ideas. Always had time to talk to you. Our community has lost a great man.

    Rest in Peace Mr. John Combs! my condolences and prayers for all.

  • Gerry Ann (Lemon) Barrington says:

    Sorry for your loss. John and I grew up together and our families were very close back in the day. May he rest in peace and the family find comfort in our Lord!