David "Bud" Combe, Sr., age 84, of Grants Pass, Oregon, passed away peacefully at his home on November 21, 2022.
He was born on June 9, 1938 in Uintah, Utah to George Louis Combe, Sr., and Catherine DeGroot. He was raised on his family's dairy and shared many childhood stories about growing up there. He and his siblings would get up in the wee hours of the morning to milk the cows and take care of farm chores before walking to school (often in the snow). Bud and his siblings received one pair of shoes a year. When the shoes started wearing out, they would stuff them with cardboard for warmth and to make them last longer. Bud told the stories with great humor and warmth.
He attended Weber College (now known as Weber State University) in Ogden, Utah for 2 years to enhance his farming and ranching knowledge. His philosophy was that farmers were the first environmentalists responsible for keeping the land fertile and productive, passing it on to the next generations to care for the land. His son Dave and grandson Jake are now operating the ranch.
Bud met his future wife, Janet Crutcher, on a blind date in 1958. They fell in love and eloped on April 7, 1960. They moved to New Hope Rd. in Grants Pass, Oregon that same year to start their adventures in ranching/farming and raising 8 children. Bud's family was his pride and joy. He and Janet enjoyed watching their "family crop" grow with 19 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. His grandchildren were the light of his life. They enjoyed sitting on grandpa's lap and tugging at his beard.
Bud, his brother Clyde (longtime business partner & best friend) and their families, helped run the ranch raising springer heifers and beef cattle, growing grass hay, corn silage, and other crops. Combe Bros. has been selling hay since the 1960's.
Bud and Janet owned and operated South 40 Farm Store from 1989 to 2020. Their son Neil managed the store. Janet was well-known as the "Chicken Lady" sharing her expertise on raising chickens. Bud was the farm equipment expert. They sold feed, farm supplies, tractor parts, farm implements, and rented out U-Haul® trucks and trailers.
Bud taught his kids how to "get 'er done" and to pick up the pace because "you're burnin' daylight". His children have many fond memories of riding on the feed and hay wagons, making hay bale tunnels in the barn and dad yelling "damn kids" when he fell into a tunnel hole, swimming in the pond with dad on hot summer afternoons – wild laughter while we tried to tip dad off of his inner tube, blackberry picking excursions – dad laughing at our blackberry stained-lips and commenting on how we were eating more than we picked, changing sprinkler pipes in the summer – sprinkler water fights with dad, and so many more wonderful memories.
Bud believed you couldn't have too many tractors or farm equipment and he could repair just about anything. He was a member of Branch 9 of the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Assoc. He enjoyed volunteering and participating in the tractor pulls at the annual Pottsville event. He also helped the Hidden Valley FFA students with the project of plowing fields and planting wheat. In past years he was a member of the Farm Bureau and the Josephine County Water & Soil Conversation board.
Bud is survived by his wife, Janet, of 62 years; siblings Clyde Combe, Dean Combe, Paul Combe, Catherine Kopke; his children Debbie (Tim) Thomas, Dave (Dale) Combe, Jess (Pam) Combe, Neil (Michaele) Combe, Malinda (Ryan) Bierly, Nathan Combe. Bud was preceded in death by both his parents, brothers George and Brent, and his sons Lloyd and Dale.
We are incredibly blessed to have had such an amazing dad, husband, grandfather, great grandfather and friend in our lives. We know this is just a temporary goodbye. We will see you again someday.
A graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, December 2, 2022, at Hillcrest Memorial Park, 945 NE Hillcrest Drive, Grants Pass, OR 97526.