Scott Alan CoombsJanuary 30, 1955 ~ November 3, 2017 (age 62)
Scott Alan Coombs, whose myriad travels took him far and wide across the world, and who had spent his life peering beneath the surface of things and excitedly sharing what he learned in that process with others, died early on Friday morning, November 3rd, 2017, in Grand Junction, Colorado. He was 62.
He had recently come down with the flu and died of ensuing complications.
From nearly twenty years of service in the US Navy to spending his final years working in the National Park Service, much of his professional life was dedicated to learning about the world and sharing that knowledge with those around him.
Mr. Coombs was born on January 30th, 1955 in Inglewood, California. His father, Robert Zoma Coombs worked at the Cherokee Mental Health Institute for a period before and after their time in California. His wife, the former Grace Peck, worked as a secretary throughout her life, including at the Cherokee Mental Health Institute. The two met in Des Moines, where Ms. Peck was attending business school. After a few years in California, where Scott and his two sisters, Lynn and Pam, were all born, the family moved back to Iowa, where the couple was originally from.
Scott Coombs attended the community school in Aurelia, was active in the Boy Scouts and was on the golf team before graduating from high school in 1973. He went on to college at Iowa State for a brief period after high school and enlisted in the Navy on April 2nd, 1975. He would serve in the United States Navy until he retired in 1994, having earned the rate of Master Chief Petty Officer, the highest enlisted rank in the US Navy. After completing his ET “A” school at Naval Station Great Lakes, he went on to work on board a number of vessels, including the USS Manitowoc, and was stationed at the naval bases in San Diego, California and eventually at the Little Creek Amphibious Base in Virginia. He was working at the Naval Safety Center in Norfolk, Virginia when he retired from the Navy in 1994. While in the Navy, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources from Saint Leo College. Upon retiring from the Navy, he went on to earn a master’s degree from James Madison University and worked in various capacities in the vocational education and human resources fields for several years.
In 2009, he and his wife, Lori Ann Coombs (née Carnathan) decided it was time again for a change and both decided to pursue careers in the National Park Service. This career would take him to many and various sites all over the country, beginning with Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. Taking seasonal positions at a number of sites over the intervening years including: Death Valley National Park, Scottsbluff National Monument, Mount Rainier National Park, and Grand Teton National Park, he finally settled into a permanent position at Canyonlands National Park, just outside of Moab, Utah in June 2015. He just retired from the National Park Service on October 28th, 2017, and was gearing up for another big move to Easton, Texas along with his wife, Lori, when he came down with the flu that ultimately took his life.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Zoma Coombs and Grace (Peck) Coombs and is survived by his wife, Lori (Carnathan) Coombs, and two children, Beth Erin Coombs (Matt Nagel) and Christopher Alan Coombs (Roy Huber). Also surviving are Scott’s two sisters, Lynn (Coombs) Walton and Pam (Coombs) Yeager, their husbands, children and grandchildren. There will be no individual service. The remains will be cremated and it is the family’s wish to travel with and spread his ashes far and wide in the various places all over the world that Scott came to love over the years. A kind of road trip wake if you will. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that memorial donations be given at https://www.dogs4vets.org/donate or https://solidersbestfriend.org/gift/.