Dr. Guy Combe, Professor Emeritus of French, Dies at 83

Dr. Guy P. Combe Dr. Guy P. Combe, OBU professor emeritus of French, died June 12, 2005. He was 83. Combe was born Feb. 14, 1922, in Dunkirk, France. He lived, however, in Oran, Algeria (French Africa), where his father was a supply officer in the French army. When World War II began, he joined the French Air Force and was sent to Wichita Falls, Texas, to be trained as an aircraft mechanic. There, he met his future wife, Ruth Frailey. During the war he serviced B-24 bomber planes. At the conclusion of the war, he returned to Texas and married Ruth. After the birth of their first child in 1953, his parents also immigrated to the U.S. While studying at Midwestern University in Wichita Falls, he took up his life-long profession of teaching college level French. He taught at the University of Oklahoma and at Oklahoma College for Women (now the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma) before moving to OBU. He joined the OBU faculty in 1965 as associate professor of French, and served as chairman of the modern language program during his tenure. He earned a master of arts degree from the University of Texas, and a Ph.D. degree in Romance Languages from the University of Oklahoma. He was a member of the American Association of Teachers of French, and served as the organization’s president in 1983. He also was a member of the official board of the Oklahoma Foreign Language Teachers’ Association. In September 1987 he retired and began traveling with his wife, visiting Europe and Asia. After Ruth’s death in 1989, he traveled to Russia, China, Alaska and Australia. He also took a backpacking trip to Pakistan and the Kyber Pass. In 1996 he married Nellie Fox. A fan of railroads, Combe enjoyed traveling around the country to visit old stations and locomotives. He was a railroad modeler and enjoyed collecting and selling at railroad swap meets. He was a member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Shawnee. Survivors include his wife, Nellie, of Shawnee; son and daughter-in-law, Steve and Betty Combe of Shawnee; daughter and son-in-law, Michele and Keith Sharp of Noble; two grandsons, Justin and Chris Combe; several cousins that he had only recently reunited with in France; three step-children and their spouses, Leslie and Jerry Donahoo of Oklahoma City, Jack W. Loughridge of Norman, and Lisa and Will Shelton of Newalla; and several step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Service will be 2 p.m. Thursday at St. Paul's United Methodist Church with Dr. Rockford Johnson officiating. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery. Walker Funeral Service is in charge of the arrangements.