Mrs. Betty Combs, age 83, of Belmont went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011.

She was two-and-one-half years old when her mother died and three years old when polio was diagnosed. Her father, a teacher, moved the family to Cedar Springs so they could walk to church and run the store for her new mom.

Betty accepted Christ at the age of 10 at the old Oakfield Chapel, where she was led to the Lord at a revival Meeting.

She grew up on a farm in Courtland Township, where they grew crops (corn, potatoes, beans) and had dairy cattle and chickens. Betty would help clean the barns, tend the chickens in the morning, and help prepare meals for the extra help during harvest. At the age of 15, she graduated with honors from Cedar Springs High School, and at the age of 16 she began working in the office at Wolverine World Wide.

Betty met Tom shortly after he returned home from the Navy. Right away they took a liking to one another. She was engaged on her 19th birthday and married in January 1947.

Betty worked until the children came along. She became involved with PTA and taught Sunday school at Rockford Baptist Church, where she had been a member since 1947. Betty was a member of the Missionary Society at Rockford Baptist Church. When the children returned to school, Betty began working full-time work at WWW and, after 27 years, retired as their personnel director.

Betty was elected to the Rockford City Council (eight years) and later served as mayor (two years). As mayor, she married over 100 couples; any and all of the moneys she collected were put back into the city funds.

From 1980 to 1994, Betty and Tom owned and operated the Colonial Motel. Betty was fun-loving, honest, friendly, and a fiercely independent person who understood human nature. She would say, “God has given me a love of people.” Her polio and her faith really influenced her life. She felt fortunate to live a “normal” life. In recognition of her community involvement, Betty was honored by the Rockford Rotary Club as a Paul Harris Fellow.

Betty is survived by her loving husband, Tom; children, Alan and Beverly Combs of Rockford, Paulette and Dan Kovich of Belmont, Thomas and Sally Combs of Grandville; grandchildren, Aaron and Lori Combs, Shannon and Adam Buys, Angela Heugel, Benjamin and Aimey Nystrom, Victoria Combs, Nicole Combs, and Tommy Combs; great-grandchildren, Alex Cruz, Caleb Cruz, Bella Combs, Natalie Combs, Ashlynne Nystrom and Rebekah Buys; brother, Max Morris; nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her sister Dorothea Benham and brothers Jack and Karl Morris.

The service of praise and thanksgiving for the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ for Mrs. Combs was Wednesday morning at 11:00 at Rockford Baptist Church with Pastor Larry Rowland officiating. Interment was in Rockford Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Rockford Baptist Church Media Center (Library).

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.