Floral 24

Bonnie Combs

February 7, 1929 ~ March 6, 2024 (age 95) 95 Years Old

Bonnie Combs Obituary

Bonnie Lou Spry Combs (95) was born during a blizzard in Lowell, IN, on February 7, 1929 and passed peacefully with her family by her side on March 6, 2024 in West Lafayette, IN.

Bonnie and her brother Bob were raised in Lowell by her loving parents Milton and Cora Anderson Spry. Bonnie attended Lowell High School and met her future husband Tom Combs while working at the soda fountain of Hunter’s Drug Store in the late 1940s. For some reason Tom kept coming back for more milkshakes. Soon the two were madly in love and married at the Methodist church in Lowell on November 26, 1949.

It is easy to understand why Tom fell for Bonnie. She was radiantly beautiful, lively and smart, and an achiever with a plan. She set her sights on an education degree at Purdue University and persuaded Tom to do the same. Eventually earning a masters degree, Bonnie developed and practiced innovative teaching techniques as a 5th grade educator in several Indiana communities, notably at Edgelea Elementary School in Lafayette. She had a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of young Hoosiers and heard often from former students that she was the best teacher they ever had. 

Bonnie was a great mom, too - bright spirited, fun, warm, wise. She and Tom were all about family, raising four daughters and a son and putting them all through college. There was much singing and laughter in the Combs family home. Bonnie’s piano repertoire included funny and singular versions of "Sweet Betsy from Pike" and "St. Louis Blues.”  There were camping trips to Yellowwood State Forest and the Lake Michigan dunes, as well as family vacations to North Carolina, Maine, Florida, and Virginia, California, the American West, the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, always with stops at historically significant sites along the way. Bonnie and Tom encouraged their children to follow their dreams and interests.

Bonnie was a lifelong Purdue sports fan who cheered enthusiastically for her team each football and basketball season. She was also an avid golfer well into her eighties who once had a hole-in-one and, along with Tom, played courses as far away as Arizona, California and Hawaii. She was a fantastic story teller who traced her family history back to colonial MA and beyond. Bonnie collected every Caldecott Medal-winning children’s book dating back to 1938 and donated her entire collection to the West Lafayette Public Library in 2016. 

Bonnie was a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, National Council Teachers of English, Tri Kappa, Purdue Alumni Association, Purdue Women's Club, Lowell Junior Women's Club, John Purdue Club, Tippecanoe/Benton/Carroll Retired Teachers Association-Past President, Choir member: Fort Wayne Covenant Methodist Church and West Lafayette Covenant Presbyterian Church, Elk's Ladies 18 Hole League, and Coyote Crossing Women's Golf League.

She is predeceased by her husband Tom Combs and is survived by her loving children Susan Zipser, Janet Roggenkamp, Karen Combs, James Combs, April Mann and their spouses, six grandchildren, Mark Powers, Ariel Yater, Tristan Ivas, Lyla Mann, Mia Mann, Sander Combs; and three great grandchildren, Emerson, Victor, Vivia. She was kind hearted, brave, accomplished and determinedly sunny. She was wonderful company. She loved deeply and was deeply loved.

Bonnie had a few thoughts she wanted us to include so we will let her have the last word:

“I found a perfect person to share my life and we’re blessed with perfect children. In lieu of donations, take a great walk around Purdue campus admire the fountains, go to the West Lafayette public library, enjoy the wonderful artwork of the people illustrating children’s books. Stroll through the bookstores and enjoy all the books. Drive slowly by Edgelea school where Bonnie taught fifth grade for almost 20 years.”

Cremation will precede a Celebration of Life, 12PM at McVey's Restaurant, Lowell, IN, Graveside Service following at 230PM in Lowell Memorial Cemetery, Lowell, Indiana. Arrangements entrusted to Sheets Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 604 E. Commercial Ave, Lowell IN 46356. www.sheetsfuneral.com

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Celebration of Life
April 20, 2024

12:00 PM
McVey's Restaurant
312 E. Commercial Ave
Lowell, IN 46356
Guaranteed delivery before the Celebration of Life begins

Graveside Service
April 20, 2024

2:30 PM
Lowell Memorial Cemetery
Commercial Ave
Lowell, IN 46356
Guaranteed delivery before the Graveside Service begins

Cremation Preceding Services

Sheets Funeral Home & Cremation Services
604 E. Commercial Ave.
Lowell, IN 46356


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