Cover photo for Karl L. Combs's Obituary
Karl L. Combs Profile Photo
1934 Karl 2020

Karl L. Combs

November 2, 1934 — June 27, 2020

Karl Leon Combs passed peacefully in his sleep of natural causes on June 26, 2020 in Walland, Tennessee. He was born in Firebrick, Kentucky, on November 2, 1934. Karl was the sixth child born to Sherman and Margaret (Ratliff) Combs. After high school, he enlisted in the United States Army. While active duty and stationed in Fort Huachuca in Cochise, Arizona, he met the love of his life, Karen Ann Levelle. Together they had four children, Karl Jr, Christopher Neil, Michael Allen, and Cynthia Jayne. Karl graduated with a Bachelors of Science from Morehead State University in Eastern Kentucky and began his career in education. This career afforded him the opportunity to relocate to the Village of Royal Palm Beach, FL, answering the call to be a part of a brand-new city in South Florida. He spent his hours volunteering alongside community leaders. At the ageof 35, he stepped down as a Palm Beach County teacher and became the first paid Fire Chief of the VIllage. Chief Combs successfully petitioned and won the right to pay firefighters a salary for their sacrifice. He also pioneered the Junior Cadet program, a program established to educate youth in civic service. This same cadet program is still an active and integral resource to the youth of Palm Beach County, FL. Chief Karl Leon Combs spent his retirement years in Blount County, Tennessee where he enjoyed the majestic Appalachian views and numerous hobbies. He is survived by Karen, his wife of 63 years, his sons, Christopher and Michael, his daughter Cynthia, six grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. Smith Funeral & Cremation Service, Maryville, 983-1000, www.SmithFuneralandCremation.com To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Karl L. Combs please visit our Sympathy Store.
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