Monday, May 27, 2013

Jerry's Visitation and Funeral

I wanted to share some pictures during Jerry's funeral and a few details.

His obituary:
Jerry Ray Combs, age 61, died Monday, May 20, 2013 at St. Joseph Berea Hospital. Mr. Combs, the current Madison County Sheriff, was born in Berea on June 10, 1951 to Elvin and Betty Usher Combs of Berea who survive him. He worked for many years for the Berea Police Department and was a member of the Church of Christ. He loved to fish, work in his garden and play with his dog Josie.
Mr. Combs is survived by: his wife: Tracy Lynn Brown Combs of Berea; his sons: Eric Combs and Brian Combs (Jennifer) of Berea; his daughter: Tracy Jane Combs of Louisville; his brothers, Larry Combs of Berea, John E. Combs of Richmond; his sisters: Jane Brandenburg (Ray) of Berea; Edie McCreary (Earl) of Rockwood, Tennessee; step-daughter, Bethany Himes of Berea; step-sons, Aaron Himes and Brett Himes of Berea; grandchildren: Anna Combs, Holly Combs, Ryan Combs, Jonathan Collins and Ben Wolfe; great-grandchildren; Isabella Combs, Harper Combs, and Bentley Wolfe.
Funeral services for Mr. Combs will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday at the Church on The Rock with Rev. Kenny Davis and Jack Hall officiating. Visitation will be from 3-9 p.m. Friday at the church. Burial will follow in the Combs Family Cemetery. Pallbearers will be the Madison County Sheriffs Officers. Honorary pallbearers will be Roy Gene Todd, Larry Todd, Ray Brandenburg, Jim Durham, Ron Devere, Whitney Maupin, Robert Puckett, Randy Kates, Mitchell Smith, Lee Roy Brock, Robert Farmer and Rick Brown.
Brian and his brother, Eric, wore their Dad's Sheriff shirts on the night of the visitation.
Brian and the girls before we left for the visitation.
Jerry was a member of the Church of Christ, but because of the crowd they were anticipating Church on the Rock graciously offered their facilities for his visitation and funeral.  We got to the church for the family visitation at 2:00 p.m. and they said that people started showing up shortly after that forming a line around the building.  Jerry was very well loved and his humbleness and kindness was so evident in the 2500+ people that came through the line to give us their condolences.  We were honored to greet them, grieve with them, and be loved on by so many people.  The last person came through around 9:30 p.m.
Here are some photos from the procession and services at the graveside.
We rode in the car behind the hearse.
There were so many people lined up on the sides of the roads saluting as the hearse drove by.  It was very touching and gave testimony to Jerry's servant hood in the community.  Many people that stopped their cars out of respect even got out of their cars and saluted by placing their hands over their hearts.
This flag was on display at another church on our way to the cemetery.
The Combs cemetery is located at Brian's grandparent's farm.
Jerry's Sheriff's car
Jerry had a full honors service including 21 gun salute, bagpipes, and a last call.
One of the many things that Jerry helped to get started at the Sheriff's office was an honor guard.  Their first service that they did was for their Sheriff.  
They did an outstanding job.  There were guards with Jerry's body and with his wife Tracy from the time he passed until he was buried.  Both the Sheriff's Department and the City of Berea Police took care of that.  At the visitation there were 2 guards on each side of the casket and they changed guards every 20 minutes.
The funeral home provided this cover to his vault.  We hated to see it get covered up with dirt.  
It was really beautiful.
Mr. and Mrs. Combs wouldn't leave until they buried him.
It's been over 2 months and it all still feels very much like a dream.  
He will continue to be missed by so many people.

2 Corinthians 12:9a

"And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

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