Erland Edward Coombs passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at the Maine Veterans Home in Scarborough. He was born in Franklin, Maine on March 14, 1922, a son of Forest and Celia (Fernald) Coombs. He attended local schools and upon graduation worked in the woods with his father. With World War II looming, he joined the United States Marine Corps and proudly served for six years. He fought battles in the Philippines, Solomon Islands and was wounded in the “Battle of Bloody Ridge” in Guadalcanal. A Purple Heart recipient, he was part of the 1st. Marine Raider Battalion – Edson Raiders – led by the legendary jungle fighter Merritt (Red Mike) Edson.
After returning home he married his hometown sweetheart Colleen Maher and eventually settled in Wells, Maine where they raised seven children. Erland was a builder and contractor for most of his life and during those years he involved himself with youth recreation and was instrumental in initiating the Babe Ruth Baseball in Wells and was its first coach. Additionally he and Colleen were very involved with the Wells High School Athletic Boosters.
Upon his retirement he enjoyed his free time doing what he loved the most, fishing with anyone and everyone who could put up with his stories “fish tales.” His many friends would enjoy a visit with him just to listen to his many stories. Many of his fishing and hunting adventures were spent over thirty years at Chesuncook Lake at a family owned campground and sporting camp, as well as many neighboring ponds and rivers where he loved to fly fish. His sense of humor will be sadly missed but fondly remembered.
He was predeceased by his loving wife of 64 years, Colleen, in 2008; two brothers, Charles and Roland Coombs and his wife Grace, a sister, Lillian Emerton and her husband Harry; a grandson, Guy Coombs and a son-in-law, Donald Donnell.
Erland is survived by his four sons, Barry Coombs and wife Karen of Coventry, CT, James Coombs and wife Sybil of Wells, William Coombs and wife Anna-Marie of South Berwick, Jeffrey Coombs and wife Denise of Las Vegas, NV; three daughters, Gaile D’Anjou and husband Norman of New Brunswick, Canada, Janet Reeves and husband Billy of Millinocket, Julie Donnell of Ormand Beach, FL; sister-in-law Betty Coombs; eighteen grandchildren, seventeen great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
A period of visitation will be held on Saturday, November 29, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, followed by a Memorial Service at noon at Bibber Memorial Chapel, 111 Chapel Road, Wells, ME. Burial with military honors will follow in Ocean View Cemetery, Wells, when Erland and Colleen will be interred together.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in his name are encouraged to: The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Attn: Development, 875 North Randolph Street, Suite 225, Arlington, VA 22203 or the Wells High School Athletic Boosters, c/o Wells High School, 200 Sanford Road, Wells, ME 04090.
Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 111 Chapel Road, PO Box 910, Wells, ME 04090.