2007 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Hewes, Gollott, Albritton, Burton, Butler, Chaney, Dawkins, Fillingane, Frazier, Harden, Jackson (11th), Jordan, King, Moffatt, Morgan, Pickering, Robertson, Walls
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE LIFE AND PUBLIC SERVICE OF FORMER GULFPORT MAYOR AND RETIRED BRIGADIER GENERAL KEN COMBS, AND EXPRESSING THE SYMPATHY OF THE LEGISLATURE.
WHEREAS, retired Brigadier General and former Mayor Kincheon Varner (Ken) Combs, 77, of Gulfport, Mississippi, died Tuesday, February 13, 2007; and
WHEREAS, former Gulfport Mayor Combs served as Mayor from 1989 to 1993 and from 2001 to 2005. Mayor Brent Warr ordered all flags in the city to be flown at half-staff in his honor; and
WHEREAS, he was born April 22, 1929, to Robert and Mary Combs and was the oldest of 7 children. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at age 17. While enrolled at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Mississippi, he joined the Army National Guard and his unit was activated during the Korean Conflict, where he spent 9 months in Japan. He later continued his education at Jones County Junior College and Mississippi State University, where he received a degree in Civil Engineering. Mr. Combs also attended the U.S. Army Engineer Officer School, the U.S. Army Engineer Advanced Officer School, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces; and
WHEREAS, during the late 1950s and early 1960s, Ken Combs was a Captain in the Army National Guard and was the Engineer Officer for the State of Mississippi, with his office in the State Capitol Building in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1965, he moved to Gulfport where he became the Base Civil Engineer at the Air National Guard Training Site; and
WHEREAS, after many years as the Base Civil Engineer and promotions to Major, Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel, Ken Combs was appointed Commander of the Air National Guard Training Site until his retirement in 1989, retiring as Brigadier General, U.S.A.F. Other appointments or positions held during his years in the National Guard were as follows: Vice President of the Air National Guard Association, 1972-1973; Director of the National Guard Association of Mississippi, 1977-1979; and appointed to Executive Council of the National Guard Association of the United States, 1985; and
WHEREAS, immediately upon retirement from the Air National Guard in 1989 he was elected to his first term as Mayor of Gulfport in 1989 and served until 1993 and then was reelected to his second consecutive term in 1993 and served until 1997; and
WHEREAS, Mayor Combs worked for the Public Service Commission between 1997-2000 with his office being in Biloxi. He was again elected Mayor of Gulfport in 2001; and
WHEREAS, to name every accomplishment, service, award, honor or recognition throughout his remarkable lifetime would be impossible. Outstanding appointments or positions held by Mayor Combs and his awards/recognitions include: served on the Boy Scouts Pine Burr Area Council, where he received their highest honor, and the Silver Beaver Award for Distinguished Service to Boyhood, from the National Court of Honor of the Boy Scouts of America, in 1971. He also served on the Girl Scouts Pine Burr Area Council, recipient of the Paul Harris Award by the Gulfport Rotary Club, was the Director of Gulfport Civil Service Commission, past President of the Gulfport School System Board of Education, and past President of the Gulf Coast Crime Commission; and
WHEREAS, he was honored by Mayor Bob Short and the City of Gulfport when the Courthouse Road Pier was renamed the Ken Combs Pier; and
WHEREAS, since 1966, Mr. Combs was an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church and served on numerous church committees and boards; and
WHEREAS, survivors include his wife of 56 years, Nita Combs; three daughters, Cathy Combs Longino, Carol Combs Smith and Frances Combs McGuire, all of Gulfport; two sons, Lieutenant Colonel Robert V. "Bob" (Bobbi Helms) Combs, Ret., Woodbridge, Virginia, and Ken (Edie Waltman) Combs, Jr., Gulfport, Mississippi; 11 grandchildren; two brothers; and numerous nieces and nephews located across the United States; and
WHEREAS, it is with sadness that we note the passing of this military and civic leader who had the support and confidence of the residents of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and a grateful state offers our thanks for his selfless service:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life and public service of former Gulfport Mayor and retired Brigadier General Kincheon V. (Ken) Combs and express to his surviving family the sympathy of the Legislature on his passing.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of Mayor Combs and be forwarded to the Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr and Board of Aldermen and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.