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Abbott Combes III, 98, of Northfield, Vermont, formerly of Pittsfield

He was also known for his gentlemanly manners, proper decorum, sense of humor, strong opinions, fondness of Cuba Libres and impromptu recitations of Robert Service ballads.

Longtime Pittsfield resident Abbott Carson Combes III died Oct. 29 at Mayo Healthcare in Northfield, Vermont.

Abbott Combes III

Abbott Combes was born Feb. 8, 1920, and grew up in Elmhurst, Queens, New York, the son of Dr. Abbott C. Combes Jr. and Gladys Ewing Combes. After graduating as class president from Newtown High School in 1936, he studied at Exeter Academy for a year before attending Dartmouth College. While at Dartmouth, Abbott was a member of Psi Upsilon Fraternity, the Dragon Senior Society and Green Key, and was executive manager of athletics. He graduated from Dartmouth in 1941, joined the Army, served in the Field Artillery in Panama and, as captain, taught military science and tactics in Chicago.

Abbott married Mary Hamlin in Chicago in 1943. Following World War II, the two settled in Berkshire County, first in Sheffield, then West Stockbridge, and Pittsfield in 1954. In 1948 Abbott founded Pittsfield Dalton Home Supply on Dalton Avenue in Pittsfield on the stretch that became known as “the Miracle Mile.” Following a semi-retirement in 1970, he became a real estate broker and partner in Berkshire Garden and Gift Center.

After accompanying his father on a trip to Cuba as a boy, he became an avid lifelong traveler. A member of the Century Travel Club, Combes visited 134 countries. Since 1980 he owned a home in Great Exuma, Bahamas, where he spent many months each year and enjoyed a wide circle of friends. In 2010 he moved from Pittsfield to Devonshire Estates in Lenox. In 2015 he moved to Mayo Healthcare in Northfield, Vermont, to be close to family.

During his sons’ youth, Mr. Combes was an active volunteer for the Boy Scout Troop 6 at St. Stephen’s Church. He was a founding member of the Lenox Croquet Club, where he was an enthusiastic instructor and referee for more than 25 years.

For many years Abbott wrote down the names of every new acquaintance in his leather-bound pocket calendar, and so it’s not surprising that he will be remembered for his friendly charm. He was also known for his gentlemanly manners, proper decorum, sense of humor, strong opinions, fondness of Cuba Libres and impromptu recitations of Robert Service ballads. He was fondly known as Ab, Bill Ding, the Smiling Mustache, Grand Dad (in Exuma) and especially Geep.

Abbott Combes was predeceased by his wife of 48 years, Mary Hamlin Combes; his son Abbott C. Combes IV (aka Kit); his granddaughter Ada Barker Combes; his sister Mary Ellen McNeil; and his companion Kay Bixler.

He leaves behind his son Richard and daughter-in-law Holly of Spartanburg South Carolina; daughter Sally and son-in-law Mike Leahey of Montpelier, Vermont; daughters-in-law Alice Combes and Connie Combes; grandchildren Andrea Combes and husband Eric, deRaismes Combes, Tom Leahey and wife Kate, and Ellis Combes; great-grandchildren Mary August, Axel, Berit and Will; and several nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to express heartfelt appreciation for the exceptional care and caring provided by Mayo Healthcare.

A gathering for friends and family will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Exuma Foundation or the Snapdragon Book Foundation in care of FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME, 426 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230. To send remembrances to the family, visit http://www.finnertyandstevens.com.

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A celebration of Ryan’s life will be held on Friday, June 21, from 2 to 6 p.m., at the James A. Modolo Post in Great Barrington.

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On Saturday, August 10, 2024, at 11 a.m., there will be a gathering at Corashire Cemetery in Monterey to remember John with one final cupcake, cookie, or Peppermint Pattie.

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The funeral service for George will be Thursday, June 27, 2024, at 10 a.m., at Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Saint Peter's Cemetery in Great Barrington.

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.