In Memory of





Obituary for Alexander C. Combs III

Alexander C Combs III, aged 75, passed away on February 15, 2024 at Tufts Medical Center, due to complications from a brief illness. Born on August 25, 1948, at Methodist Hospital in Pikeville, KY, he was the beloved son of Mary Mullins Combs and Alexander C Combs Jr.

He was raised in Harlan County, KY with his siblings Brent and Sandra. He fondly recalled his time exploring the mountains with cousins, riding the coal mine ponies, singing in the choir, and spending time at his Aunt Kay’s drive-in movie theater. In 1964 he moved to Evansville, IN where he graduated high school. He served his country with honor as a Petty Officer in the Navy from 1968 to 1971. Following his service, he worked as a nuclear submarine mechanic at Electric Boat in Groton, CT.

Al was a proud graduate of Connecticut College, where he earned a degree in Botany in 1980. His ecological study of salt marshes sparked a lifelong passion for nature, which he expressed through his love of paddling, camping, gardening, golf, and wetlands conservation. In 1985, Al moved to Jacksonville, FL and founded Prime Restoration, a company that reflected his commitment to preserving historical architecture. In 1998, he relocated to Harvard, MA where he became deeply engaged with the community until his passing.

Al's commitment to social causes, particularly in improving access to education, preserving natural spaces, supporting independent journalism, and as a patron of the arts was evident through his charitable works, including long term relationships with Harvard Historical Society, Nashua River Watershed Association, the Native American Health Organization, The GroundTruth Project, and Crocodile River Music. Al’s political advocacy was instrumental to the passing of Harvard’s Right-to-Farm bylaw.

In his personal life, Al was wed to Barbara Combs (née Lupkay) in 1971, supporting his family through her lengthy battle with cancer, until her passing in 1983. He married Anne Berman in 1985. Following their divorce, he married Jennifer Combs (née Malloy) in 1993, who remained his partner until her death from cancer in 2022.

Deeply supportive of his children and extended family, he leaves behind a legacy of love and perseverance, survived by his children Zachariah (Kristin), Daniel (Afra), Matthew (Kaitlyn), Meredith Combs McAlister (Tiffen), and Parker Combs, his grandchildren Rennie, George, August, and Arthur Combs, and his brother Brent Staton.

Al’s remarkable character, evident in his love for family, friends and community, and an unwavering dedication to the betterment of society, will be deeply missed and forever remembered.

A memorial service will be held in Al's honor at the Acton Funeral Home, 470 Massachusetts Avenue (Rt 111), Acton, on Sunday, February 25, 2024 at 11 AM. The service can be streamed using this link

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Al’s name to either Fivesparks (Harvard, MA) or Nashua River Watershed Association (Groton, MA).