Courier-Leader & Flashes

Obituary: Anne E. Coombs

Anne E. Coombs passed away on Dec. 2, 2022, in the comfort of her home, surrounded by her loving family. Known affectionately as “G.G.” or “Gram,” Anne was a mother of six, grandmother of 11, and great-grandmother of 15. Her legacy, however, isn’t just defined by her role as wife, mother, and grandmother but by her many years as a librarian, church member, and active resident of the Lawton community.
Anne Elizabeth Taylor was born at home in Lawton on Sept. 28, 1932, to Beatrice Ritter Taylor and Henry Taylor, the youngest of eight children. She developed a love of books from a very young age at country school. She liked to play baseball with her brother, was a cheerleader, and was a top student, graduating from Lawton High School in 1949 at the age of 16, as salutatorian of her class. She attended a semester of college at Western State Normal School and later earned credits as a certified library assistant.
In 1951, while she was an operator at Michigan Bell in Kalamazoo, she married Clarence Coombs and they welcomed their first child in 1952. Despite long separations due to his work as a trucker, they both shared a passion for family and community activities. American Legion, Scout leader, church council, camper’s club, Sunshine club, library board, and museum curator, are just a few of the projects to which Anne lent her enthusiasm and passion.
In 1979, she started her 37 year career at Lawton Public Library. Besides reshelving, and filing, she was the in-house book mending expert, carefully giving a longer shelf life to worn and tattered tomes. She was responsible for introducing generations of Lawton’s youngsters as well as its adult population to the joys of reading.
Anne retired in 2016 but still worked at the library from time to time and was a voracious reader up until the final weeks of her life – her family says they knew her health had taken a turn when Anne could no longer enjoy a good mystery novel.
Despite losing the love of her life in 2002 as well as a string of tragedies that took her son, son-in-law, and grandson, Anne took solace in her family, friends, and community, continuing to host luncheons and tea parties, volunteering, and making multiple trips to New York as well as Europe, seeing Prague and Salzburg as well as the UK where she visited Oxford, Bath, the Cotswolds, and London. She visited California, Hawaii, and Las Vegas, went on several cruises, and was a frequent guest at her daughter’s home in Suttons Bay. 
She was honored for her contributions to the school and community, first as Lawton’s Volunteer of the Year and more recently as an inductee into the Lawton Community Schools Hall of Fame, a tremendous honor for Anne and her family. But she was perhaps most proud of being on the “cradle roll” of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church for 90 years.
It was no secret that Anne loved slot machines, relished cooking and baking, and was an ardent collector of teapots. She was a loyal pen pal and a devoted Jeopardy fan. Above all, she was known for her random acts of kindness and for the way she welcomed everyone to her table and into her home whether it was new members of the church or family friends. She leaves behind a legacy of strength, kindness, and warmth that won’t soon be forgotten.
Anne is preceded in death by her husband, Clarence; son, C.W. “Buggs’’ Coombs, Jr.; son-in-law, Tom Haas; grandson, Mark Woodruff; as well as two brothers and five sisters. She leaves behind five children, Patricia Haas, Barbara Coombs, Susan Woodruff (Mike), Gail Coombs, and Kathy Coombs, and 11grandchildren Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas (Daniel), Marie Wetherill, Kristen Haas, Tequisha Coombs, Tomi Lasinski (Mat), Michelle Barber (Andrew), Kayla Coombs, Brooke Waite (Andrew), Mackenzie Millek, and Kennedy Wells, and 15 great-grandchildren, Jacob MacDonald and Alexis Bilton, Matthew and Clare Lasinski, Mya, Kerry, and Harper McNett, Henry, Ben, Grayson, and Rex Barber, Beatrice and Annie Zahradnicek, Callahan and Brooks Waite. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews, and a close family friend, Rodney Millek. 
Visitation will be held at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Lawton, Dec. 27, from 4 to 8 p.m. and Dec. 28, at 10 a.m., with a celebration of life at 11 a.m.
Donations may be made to Centrica Care Navigators and the Lawton St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.  Share a memory or sign the online tribute wall at: www.adamspawpawcom 

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