Abbott C. Combes III
FUNERAL ANNOUNCEMENT for the late Abbott C. Combes III Longtime Pittsfield resident, Abbott Carson Combes III, died on October 29th at Mayo Healthcare in Northfield, VT.
Abbott Combes was born in 1920 and grew up in Elmhurst, Queens, New York, the son of Dr. Abbott C. Combes Jr. and Gladys Ewing Combes. After graduating as class president from Newtown High School in 1936, he studied at Exeter Academy for a year before attending Dartmouth College. While at Dartmouth Abbott was a member of Psi Upsilon Fraternity, the Dragon Senior Society, Green Key, and was Executive Manager of Athletics. He graduated from Dartmouth in 1941, joined the Army, served in the Field Artillery in Panama, and as Captain, taught military science and tactics in Chicago.
Abbott married Mary Hamlin in Chicago in 1943. Following World War II, the two settled in Berkshire County, first in Sheffield, then West Stockbridge, and Pittsfield in 1954. In 1948 Abbott founded Pittsfield Dalton Home Supply on Dalton Avenue in Pittsfield on the stretch that became known as “The Miracle Mile.” Following a semi-retirement in 1970, he became a real estate broker and partner in Berkshire Garden and Gift Center.
After accompanying his father on a trip to Cuba as a boy, he became an avid lifelong traveler. A member of the Century Travel Club, Combes visited 134 countries. Since 1980 he owned a home in Great Exuma, Bahamas, where he spent many months each year and enjoyed a wide circle of friends. In 2010 he moved from Pittsfield to Devonshire Estates in Lenox. In 2015 he moved to Mayo Healthcare in Northfield, Vermont, to be close to family.
During his sons’ youth Mr. Combes was an active volunteer for the Boy Scouts, Troop 6 at St. Stephen’s Church. He was a founding member of the Lenox Croquet Club, where he was an enthusiastic instructor and referee for more than 25 years.
For many years Abbott wrote down the names of every new acquaintance in his leather-bound pocket calendar, and so it’s not surprising that he will be remembered for his friendly charm. He was also known for his gentlemanly manners, proper decorum, sense of humor, strong opinions, fondness of Cuba Libres, and impromptu recitations of Robert Service ballads. He was fondly known as Ab, Bill Ding, the Smiling Mustache, Grand Dad (in Exuma) and especially Geep.
Abbott Combes was pre-deceased by his wife of 48 years, Mary Hamlin Combes; his son Abbott C. Combes IV (aka Kit); his granddaughter Ada Barker Combes; his sister Mary Ellen McNeil; and his companion Kay Bixler.
He leaves behind his son Richard and daughter-in-law Holly of Spartanburg SC; daughter Sally and son-in-law Mike Leahey of Montpelier VT; daughters-in-law Alice Combes and Connie Combes; grandchildren Andrea Combes and her husband Eric, deRaismes Combes, Tom Leahey and his wife Kate, and Ellis Combes; great grandchildren Mary August, Axel, Berit, and Will; and several nieces and nephews.
A gathering for friends and family will be scheduled at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The Exuma Foundation or the Snapdragon Book Foundation in care of FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME, 426 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230. To send remembrances to his family please visit http://www.finnertyandstevens.com
The family wishes to express heartfelt appreciation for the exceptional care and caring provided by Mayo Healthcare.