Kathleen Edith (nee Lewis) McCombe
Kathleen McCombe, aged 76, beloved wife of the late Rev. George Albert Stephen McCombe, passed away peacefully on June 6, 2020 at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton, N.B. after a brief illness.
Kathleen was born in Tatworth, Somerset, England on August 25, 1943 to the late Alice Mary (Puddy) and Charles Frederick Nugent Lewis. She came to Canada with her family in 1946, and grew up on the West Side of Saint John, N.B. Following her graduation from Saint John Vocational School she worked in a pediatric clinic and for Warner Brothers films.
In 1966, Kathleen responded to a letter written to her family by Rev. McCombe, then a newly minted Anglican minister, who had emigrated from Liverpool to take an assignment in Saskatchewan. He knew no one in Canada but a mutual family friend in England (knowing nothing of the distances between places in Canada), suggested that he write to the Lewis family in New Brunswick. Kathleen and Stephen struck up a correspondence which turned into a life-long romance, including a marriage proposal by mail after they finally met in 1967. Embracing her new role, Kathleen became the quintessential minister’s wife and took great pride in the partnership she and Stephen had serving the members of their parishes in Maidstone Saskatchewan, Fredericton, Campobello Island, and Edmundston while they raised their boys. They retired to New Maryland in 1991 and later to Fredericton, where Stephen studied for a degree in Classics and Kathleen audited some of the same university courses. Kathleen and Stephen had a wonderful marriage. They joyfully finished each other’s sentences for 47 years until Stephen’s death in 2015.
An artist with any kind of needle, Kathleen always had a project on the go creating something beautiful for her family, a parishioner, or a church sale. Many babies have napped under her lovely blankets and quilts or been bundled up into cozy sweaters, mittens or pretty dresses that she made with love. She was a superb cook and baker, and "Nana’s baking squares" are legend among her grandchildren’s friends. A life-long learner, Kathleen was a talented and keen amateur genealogist and historian who traced the history of her family back as far as the mid-1500’s. As keeper of the family records, she documented many stories for her children and grandsons to pass down to generations.
Kathleen was a loving mother to her sons and her daughter-in-law, an adoring "Nana" to her grandsons, a wonderful sister and a lovely aunt. She delighted in her family and never forgot to mark an occasion for any of us.
Kathleen is survived by her sons, Dr. Padraic McCombe of Fort McMurray (Judge Stephanie Cleary) and Simon McCombe of Fredericton, grandsons James and George McCombe, sister Avis (the late William) Booth (nee Lewis) and brother Edward Lewis (Linda) of Saint John, and nieces Melissa Connor (Stephen) of Moncton and Sarah Foye (Darcy) of Halifax.
A service celebrating Kathleen’s life will be held at a date in the future.
Donations in memory of Kathleen may be made to the New Brunswick SPCA at PO Box 1412, Fredericton, NB E3B 5E3 www.frederictonspca.ca.