Marvin D & William L Combs
The Dr. Marvin D. Combs Memorial Scholarship will provide assistance to residents of Worth, Gentry, Harrison and Nodaway counties who seek a college education at Northwest. The scholarship was established by William L. Combs in honor of his older brother, a 1959 graduate of Northwest Missouri State University. Dr. Combs, who died Dec. 5, 2009, at age 76, spent his career as a country doctor in the towns of Willcox, Ariz., and Albany. He was always on call, and residents knew they could reach him at home after office hours in case of emergencies.
Born in Worth in 1933 as the second of six sons, Dr. Combs grew up on a farm near Worth during the Great Depression. Life there was not easy, but he realized the importance of an education and graduated from Grant City High School in 1951. He was drafted by the U.S. Army and served in Berlin, Germany, during the height of the Cold War.
Upon returning to the United States in 1955, Dr. Combs enrolled at Northwest and took classes to prepare himself for a career in the medical field.
After graduating from Northwest, Dr. Combs attended medical school at the University of Missouri, but withdrew after a year and raised money by working as a representative for pharmaceutical company Park Davis. Later, he enrolled at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience-College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he completed his doctorate in medicine.
Dr. Combs went on to establish a clinic in Willcox, Ariz., with a classmate and practiced successfully there for two decades while helping to modernize and improve medical care by working closely with a regional hospital. While many doctors were abandoning obstetrics because of rising insurance rates and increasing lawsuits resulting from birth defects, Dr. Combs continued. He also served as a coroner and was active in the Civil Air Patrol.
In 1983, to be closer to his family, Dr. Combs returned to northwest Missouri and started the Combs Clinic in Albany. After retiring in 2000, he and his wife, Vickey Dickerson, returned to Arizona.
Scholarships associated with Marvin D & William L Combs