Pikeville, Kentucky – Donald Howard Combs, a beloved resident of Pikeville, Kentucky, passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, September 15, 2023. Born on October 16, 1957, Don was the first son of Donald and Alcie Howard Combs.
Don was a proud native of Pikeville, and he held a deep affection for his hometown. He had a heartwarming way of greeting people, always extending his hand with a smile, introducing himself as “Hi. Don Combs, from Pikeville, Kentucky.”
He began his educational journey at Pikeville Independent Schools, culminating in his graduation from Pikeville High School in 1975. Throughout his childhood, Don was actively involved in the Boy Scouts, achieving the rank of Eagle and earning membership in the Order of the Arrow. Following his high school years, Don pursued higher education at Transylvania University, majoring in Political Science, and was an active member of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity, ultimately graduating in 1979. He then went on to pursue his law degree at the University of Kentucky College of Law, graduating in 1982 and becoming a member of the Kentucky Bar and the Florida Bar shortly after.
Don’s legal career began with a clerkship for Kentucky Supreme Court Justice James B. Stephenson. He then returned to Pikeville to join his father in private practice. After his father’s passing, Don took over the firm, renaming it Combs & Combs P.S.C. His commitment to the practice of law was unwavering, and he diligently served his clients, always mindful of the responsibility that came with his profession.
A devoted and ethical lawyer, Don was an active member of the legal community, involved in numerous legal organizations. He held several positions, including Chair of the Kentucky Judicial Ethics Commission and a member of the Kentucky Supreme Court Rules Committee. Don’s dedication to living ethically was reflected not only in his legal practice but in his life overall. He was guided by his faith in God and his moral compass, always striving to treat everyone with dignity, respect, and patience.
Beyond his professional life, Don found true happiness in serving others and treasured his relationships. He cherished his lifelong friendships, passionately pursuing shared interests such as fishing, golfing, cooking, and photography. Don and his wife, Leslie, were a remarkable team, having built a beautiful life together over 45 years, with 39 of those years spent in a loving marriage.
Don’s love and pride for his family knew no bounds. He was a devoted father to his children, Elizabeth and Donald III, and their achievements brought him immense joy. Don’s legacy lives on through his family, friends, and the countless lives he touched with his kindness, compassion, and genuine love for people.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Alcie Howard Combs; brother, Steven Daniel Combs; maternal grandparents, Noah Daniel and Edith Chase Howard; and paternal grandparents, Emanuel and Mollie Napier Combs.
Don is survived by his loving wife, Leslie Adams Combs; children, Elizabeth Anne Alcie Combs and Donald Howard (Emily) Combs III; brother, Robert (Afif) Combs; sister-in-law, Teresa Hefner Combs; “boss,” Ambre Robinette; mother-in-law, Ivory Staton Moore; and a host of other family members, including nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A visitation will be held on Friday, September 22, 2023, from 4:00-6:00 PM, and the funeral service will take place on Saturday, September 23, 2023, at 11:00 AM at Pikeville United Methodist Church. A private burial will follow. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Kentucky Bar Foundation or the Costco Foundation for Employee Scholarships.
Don’s memory will forever be cherished, and his spirit will live on in the hearts of those he touched. May he rest in eternal peace.