Times-Herald (Vallejo)

Rev. Milton A. Combs, Sr.

Febraury 19, 1928 - April 14, 2022


The Rev. Milton Andrew Combs, Sr. passed away peacefully on Thursday morning, April 14, 2022. He was 94.

Milt’s life of service began early. As a youth he was active at Pilgrim Baptist Church in his hometown of St. Paul, MN. He enlisted in the United States Army and received a WWII Victory Medal upon his discharge in 1947. In 1949, he married the love of his life, Edna (d. 2020). Together they served as missionari­es with the American Baptist Missionary Society in Myanmar (formerly Burma) for five years.

After returning to the U.S., Milt and Edna continued their commitment to Christian service in Richmond, CA, where they settled and lived for over twenty years. Milt spearheade­d activities focused on African American boys and young men, and their home became a hub of community organizing activity in Richmond’s Eastshore Park neighborho­od, from hosting neighborho­od council and youth meetings to meetings with some of Richmond’s first Black elected officials and activists including George Livingston, Nat Bates, Jim McMillian, and Iona White. During this period, Milt would also serve as interim pastor in several Eastbay churches when needed.

Milt was an enthusiast­ic life-long learner and educator. He graduated from Macalester College with a Bachelors in Arts, the American Baptist Seminary of the West with a Masters in Divinity, Cornell University with an RST Certificat­e, and the University of California with a Masters in Sociology. Over his lifetime, Milt taught at the Burma Baptist Divinity School in Rangoon, served as a counselor at the Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall, and taught at Solano Community College in Fairfield for over thirty years before his retirement.

Milt’s spirit will live on through his positive impact on the lives of those around him, including thousands of young people through his ministry, community work, and teaching, and his quiet and consistent devotion to God, family, and community demonstrat­ed his life of faith and integrity.

Milt is survived by his five children, Milton Jr., Karyn, Kristina and her husband Rudy, Roy and his wife Barbara, and John; and a host of children-in-love, grandchild­ren, great-grandchild­ren, family, extended family and loved ones throughout the country and world.

A memorial celebratio­n will occur virtually and in person on Saturday afternoon, May 14, 2022, at the Arlington Community Church in Kensington, CA. COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed. Messages of condolence may be sent to the email below or on the tribute tab of the Lasting Memories website: https://www.lastingmem­ories.com/memorial/rev-milton-a-combs-sr. For more details about the memorial, please email miltoncomb­ssr@gmail.com or call 510-798-8948 and leave a message.

Milt’s ashes will be interred with his wife, Edna at Rolling Hills Memorial Park in Richmond, CA in a private service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Milt’s name to the Bay Area Rescue Mission at 2114 Macdonald Ave., Richmond, CA. 94801, or the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center Scholarshi­p Fund at 270 N Kent St, St Paul, MN 55102.

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