On September 7, 2018, Benjamin Eugene Coombes went to be with his savior after 90+ years on this earth. He passed peacefully while surrounded by his family.
He was born in Yakama, Washington, to Oscar and Maude Coombes on December 11, 1927. Many of his early years were spent in and around Baker City, Oregon. He went to high school in Stanfield, Oregon, distinguishing himself in athletics. He graduated in 1947 (the only four-year letterman that year). He held the Eastern Oregon half-mile track record for Class B schools for many years. After graduating, he attended Eastern Oregon College in La Grande.
He worked a number of jobs including felling timber with his brother Jasper and working a lead mine near Ouray, Colorado. He was drafted into the United States Army during the Korean War in 1950 and served honorably until his discharge, when he returned home and continued to serve in the Oregon National Guard.
Upon discharge he went to work for the Mayflower Milk Company in Hermiston, Oregon, where he met his future wife, Doris Ufford. Ben and Doris in their nearly 65 years together raised four children: Deanna, David, Duane and Della. He worked for Mayflower for 21 years and later another 16 years for the Umatilla County road department.
Ben was elected and served on the Stanfield School Board for 10 years. He was very active in his local church (Stanfield Baptist) and also Child Evangelism Fellowship. He and Doris moved from their small family farm in the Stanfield/Echo Meadows early in 2017 to reside at Sun Terrace in Hermiston.
He is survived by his loving wife Doris Coombes; children Deanna and Mike Frantum, David Coombes, Duane and Elizabeth Coombes, and Della and Tom Jackson; siblings Jasper and Lois Coombes, George Coombes, and Edward and Karen Coombes; 11 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and nieces Sheila Cross and Linda Miller, who were very involved in his life, especially in the later years. Granddaughter Crystal Coombes relocated to Hermiston, Ore., to help grandma and grandpa for a time.
He was known for his many unique sayings, positive quick humor and self-taught harmonica skills. He will be long remembered for the joy he brought to those around him, and will be missed by all.
Those who wish may make contributions in Ben’s memory to the Stanfield Baptist Church, Stanfield, Oregon.
A celebration of life service with military honors will be held on Saturday, September 15, 2018, at 10 a.m. at the Stanfield Baptist Church, 310 Wheeler Ave., Stanfield, OR.
Please sign the online condolence book at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Oregon, is in care of arrangements.