Cover photo for William H. Combs's Obituary
William H. Combs Profile Photo

William H. Combs

September 1, 1927 — January 21, 2022

William H. Combs

Bill Combs, 94, died Friday, January 21, 2022 at Bucyrus Community Hospital after weeks of failing health.

He was born September 1, 1927 in Booneville, Kentucky to the late William O. and Nannie M. (Venable) Combs in Owsley County, Kentucky. The Combs family made their way to Wooster, Ohio where Bill grew up and graduated from Wooster High School in 1944. He joined the Army at the end of WW2 and served in Japan.

Bill never worked for anyone other than himself. He returned to Wooster to where he started a furnace business and moved to Bucyrus to continue furnace work. He opened Lakeway Sports Center where boats and gas were sold to those on their way to Lake Erie. This is when he began racing boats and soon, he and his friends thought they could build better boats. So, in 1963 Bill, along with Bill Downard and local investors, established Checkmate Boats which manufactured quality performance boats until it was sold in 2007. Never one to stay idle, Bill also got into the nightclub business. He started and later sold both The Pub and Mad Bull clubs in Bucyrus. He later operated Knight Moves with locations in Marion and Mansfield. He also flipped and sold several homes over the years and always had a renovation project in the works at his house.

Boats and family were Bill’s passions along with OSU and Cleveland Browns football. Since retirement, Bill loved hosting friends and family for summer pool parties. He will be remembered for his big smile, being tons of fun, and very caring.

Bill is survived by two sons, Mike Combs and Kip (Missy) Combs; daughter, Meriah Kruse; grandchildren, Shayla (Keven) DeLong, Kristy Combs, and Kavan Combs; great granddaughter, Hannah DeLong; and his former wife, mother of his sons, and dear friend, Pat Combs.

In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by all his siblings; daughter-in-law, Brenda Combs; and grandson, Tyler Ebersole.

Services will be held at Wise Funeral Service in Bucyrus. Bill’s family will receive friends on Wednesday, January 26 from 4-7 pm and the funeral will be held on Thursday at 10:30 am with Certified Celebrant, Mark Dettmer officiating. The service will conclude with military rites by the US Army Honor Guard and Bucyrus Veterans Military Funeral Detail. He will be laid to rest in Oakwood Cemetery at a later date.

Rather than flowers, Bill’s family encourages memorial contributions be made payable to Bucyrus Athletic Boosters for the boys basketball program through the funeral home. Memories and photos can be shared on Bill’s Tribute Wall.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William H. Combs, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

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Oakwood Cemetery (at a later date)

835 Kaler Avenue, Bucyrus, OH 44820

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