COOMBE, William


William Michael

Age 79, of Hamilton, Ohio, passed away on Monday, January 10, 2022. Bill was born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, on October 2, 1942, the oldest of William Henry and Olga (Gavula) Coombe's four children. After graduating from

Immaculate Heart Academy in Fountain Springs, PA, at the age of 17, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was stationed aboard the USS Sierra, a destroyer tender. He was aboard the Sierra when the ship participated in the naval blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis in

October 1962. Bill enjoyed a lifelong passion and talent for communication, a gift he used unerringly to both serve and delight others. Ever appreciative of a clever turn-of-phrase, Bill loved to create puns and limericks, using his gentle wit and charm to bring joy and connection. His love of the written word was clear from boyhood when he started his first job as a paperboy. This humble entry into the newspaper business--which would comprise the bulk of his life's work--led to later newspaper achievements as the editor of his high school

paper and that of his naval ship. After leaving the service, he enrolled at the Pennsylvania State University and attained a degree in Journalism. At Penn State, he dedicated himself to his craft by editing the State College Times while writing for the Evening Herald in Shenandoah, PA. After graduation, Bill began working at the United Press International (UPI) bureau in Philadelphia where he covered the Philadelphia sports scene. He later relocated to Pittsburgh, PA, where he supervised news coverage spanning seven states as the head of UPI. He then held Editor-in-Chief positions at the Times Leader in Martins Ferry, Ohio, and at the Journal News in Hamilton, Ohio. Later in his career, Bill merged his talent for communication with his dedication to service to others by advocating for the mentally ill (a passion he shared with his wife, Donna, and daughter, Donna-lyn) and for the democratic process. He accomplished this by applying his skills to the public relations field, serving the Hamilton County Mental Health Board, the Butler County Board of Elections, and Transitional Living, Inc. During his years in retirement, Bill became an incredible one-man support system for his family, selflessly providing help in any and all ways needed to his wife, children and especially to his grandchildren. Of course, his family always trusted that his kindness would be infused with his signature wit and

wisdom. Bill is survived by his wife of 46 years, Donna (Kieres) Coombe, his children Larry and Kara (Rob) Tegge, each of Hamilton, and Donna-lyn Braun of Cincinnati. 7 grandchildren: Russell Coombe, Jessica, Julia, Jenna and Jada Tegge, and Helpful and Clara Braun, brothers John (Mary Ellen) Coombe of Thorndale, PA, and Paul (Peg) Coombe of New Boston, PA, Sisters-in-law Elizabeth (Russell) Antalosky of Frackville, PA, and Gwen (Tim) Holden of St. Clair, PA, brother-in-law Albert (Peggy) Kieres of Harrisburg, PA. Bill was

preceded in death by his parents, mother-in-law Elizabeth (Roberts) Kieres and father-in-law Albert Kieres, one brother, Joseph Coombe, and stillborn grandsons, Joseph and Justin Tegge. A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. on

Saturday, January 15, 2022, at Weigel Funeral Home, 980 NW Washington Blvd, Hamilton, with Pastor Mark Finfrock of First United Methodist officiating. Visitation will be on

Saturday at 12:30 p.m. until the time of the service. The family suggests memorials to the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Cincinnati, Attn: CTS Walk-Team In Memory of William Coombe, 644 Linn St, #1026, Cincinnati, OH 45203, or via the website, or to an organization of the donor's choice. Online condolences are available at

Funeral Home Information

Weigel Funeral Home