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Dr. James Lynn Combs

Service Date: September 26, 2020
Visitation Info: Linnemann Funeral Homes Burlington
Interment Info: St. John Cemetery – Ft. Mitchell, KY
Service Info: Blessed Sacrament Church
Service Info

Dr. James Lynn Combs, 72, died September 18th, 2020, at St. Elizabeth Hospital after a well-fought battle with cancer. He had a distinguished career as well as a full and rewarding life.

Born in 1948 in Kingsport, TN, Jim was preceded by his parents, Glen Edward Combs and Audrey Hill Combs, in death. He is survived by his wife, Connie Lyons Combs, their three daughters, Emily Susanne Combs (Michael) Hellmann, Elizabeth Lynn Combs and Ellen Marie Combs, a grandchild, Owen James Hellmann, and his brothers, Ronald Joe Combs, Russell Owen Combs and John David Combs.

He began his medical residency in 1973 in Johnson City, TN, followed by his Internship at St. Elizabeth Hospital in 1977. He then became a physician on staff at St. Elizabeth Hospital in the Emergency Department for over 40 years. At the time of his death, he was employed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky Medical Licensure Board and Medical Review Panel. He was also on the medical admission board for the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.

Dr. Combs was a pioneer for prehospital care treatment and training. His leadership and wisdom were a vital piece in the startup of AEDS on BLS ambulances in Kenton County. The inauguration of this program allowed all ambulances to have lifesaving capabilities for patients in cardiac arrest. Due to Dr. Combs’s proficiency and knowledge in prehospital care, he was asked to serve as medical director for the entire Kenton County area ambulances and St. Elizabeth paramedics. His expertise was utilized at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport where he served on the Disaster Committee. Additionally, he served on SWAT for the Dixie Policy Authority for Kenton County, KY. Jim received awards from the State of Kentucky for his work in emergency medicine instruction and his teaching leadership. For over 20 years, he served on the Risk Management Committee at St. Elizabeth Hospital and he was awarded for his dedication and support as a Medical Director for its Advanced Life Support program. As a result of his commitment to the medical profession, he received a 30-year Certificate of Achievement by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. Lastly, Jim received a Certificate of Achievement for Disaster Planning and Management for emergency physicians.

Jim was goal-oriented, seeking excellence in a wide variety of interests and was known as a modern Renaissance man. A devoted gun enthusiast, he was a champion pistol shooter and A Governor’s Top Ten. As a young man, he worked as a carpenter for his father, a house builder. Later he built his own house with handmade, dovetailed walnut kitchen cabinets. Furniture and an intricately designed guitar with exotic woods stood out among many other projects. He made toys for his children and, more recently, Damascus kitchen knives for Connie, his daughters and a friend.

He was also an inventor, chef and investor. There was little if anything he could not do with skill and aplomb. Once challenged to weld the crack of dawn, eye-witnesses claimed he succeeded. A wide-ranging reader, he pursued classic mystery novels and political biographies. Movies and classical music were additional interests. An avid note-maker, he was exceptionally well-organized. He enjoyed solving complicated mathematical problems without pen and paper. Jim was also an enthusiastic traveler both here and abroad.

With a life-time devoted to the outdoors, Jim enjoyed horticulture, hiking, skiing, scuba diving, fishing, and hunting fowl and deer. He always felt closest to God in nature, and heartily felt, “My cathedral is being out in nature at dawn and dust, it is truly magical.” Jim was a service-oriented gentleman who will be dearly missed by his family, friends and community.

Services to commemorate Dr. James Combs will begin on Friday, September 25th with a visitation from 4:00PM-7:00PM at Linnemann Funeral Homes, 1940 Burlington Pike, Burlington, KY 41005. Mass of Christian burial will be on Saturday, September 26, 2020, at 10:00AM at Blessed Sacrament Church in Ft. Mitchell. Due to COVID-19, guests attending Jim’s services will be asked to wear their own face coverings.

In lieu of flowers, family and friends can send memorial donations to The St. Elizabeth Foundation c/o Cancer Care fund at 1 Medical Village Drive Edgewood, KY 41017. Online condolences to:

4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Linnemann Funeral Homes Burlington

1940 Burlington Pike
10:00 am

Blessed Sacrament Church

2409 Dixie Hwy
Ft. Mitchell, KY 41017
Phone: (859) 331-4302

St. John Cemetery – Ft. Mitchell, KY

Address: 1 St. John Rd Ft. Mitchell, KY 41017
12:00 am - 12:00 am

Dr. James Lynn Combs


In my prayers

Connie and family, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Jim was an exceptional man and physician.

Love to all,
Diane Sinclair

I am with you still

When you see a beautiful sunrise or sunset, think of Jim
When you hear the wind blow through the trees, think of Jim
When you see the stars in the velvet sky, think of Jim
Jim’s church was truly the outdoors. He was a special soul who loved
his family and friends every moment of the day, and he will always be with us
“Do not think of me as gone. I am with you still in each new dawn”-Native American Poem – Love you much, Diane

Mr. Combs

Elizabeth, Ellen, Emily and Connie,

I am deeply sorry for your loss. I never had the great pleasure of meeting your dad/husband in person and after hearing the many wonderful things said about him as well as knowing how great of people Elizabeth and Ellen are, I can only imagine that the legend doesn’t even live up to the character of the actual person that he was. I know that no words can truly provide complete comfort or take away the pain you are experiencing but I hope you find some solace in the effusive praise of Jim and the deep love that everyone feels for you and your family. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Robbie and Camden

Dr Combs

Connie and family. So sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. I worked with him for many years on third shift at the North. He will be missed

Jim Combs

So sorry to hear of Dr. Combs passing. He was truly a great doctor. I had the pleasure of working with him in the ED at Edgewood. I also worked with him when he was our medical director for EMS in Kenton County. I will certainly remember him as a friend. Rest in peace.
Ellen Garrison

So sorry

So sorry to hear about Dr. Combs. He was a really nice man and good physician. I worked with him in the emergency room as a clerical. He would always call me Miss Debbie. Prayers to all of you at this sad time. Deborah Lueke

Sending Love and Prayers

Dear Connie and Family,
Debi and I send our sincere condolences on the loss of Jim. He was a fine man and a great physician.
We are sorry that we cannot be there because of health reasons, but you will be in our thoughts and prayers.
Bill and Debi Hoppenjans