Isabella “Izzy” Cates Combs passed away peacefully at home surrounded by the children she loved on September 8, 2021. She was 93 years old. The daughter of Jake Henry and Sarah Frances (Kerby) Cates, she had two brothers: Anse Havey Cates, and Clifford Faxon Cates, all of whom precede her in death.
Born in Big Hill, KY, Isabella moved with her family to Hamilton Ohio, in 1942 where she almost immediately met her life-long Friend Norma “Faye” Bowling. A graduate of Hamilton High School Class of 1945, she went on to continue her education, first at Miami U in the “teacher’s college” (school of Education), then continuing by commuting to UC Evening College when that school was in its infancy.
Isabella married Clyde Eugene Combs on May 18, 1957. They had three children: Clyde Ervin Combs, David Alan Combs, and Linda Combs (Swarthwood), All three survive her now, along with her Son in Law: Anthony Meredith Swarthwood and two grandsons Aidan Mace Swarthwood, and Jacob Gray Swarthwood.
“Izzy” as she was most often known around an office, worked mostly in clerical and secretarial work, almost completely in the Hamilton and Fairfield area. With such a joy for life she would reminisce about the beginnings of her career working at Champion Paper or American Autolight with the same fondness she had for her later positions at Pillsbury, Butler County Water department or Plastanks Ind.
A magnanimous woman with a larger than life heart, and an over abundant love for animals and children, she mothered every child or creature came within her reach, joyfully taking whatever strays crossed her path to her beloved “rock pile” in her “weed patch” on Gates Rd.
Isabella’s faith and family were the most Important things in her life. An absolute fixture at The First Baptist Church of Auburn, she could be found in the kitchen, or socializing, or later in life, holding court from her pew on the pulpit’s right hand side.
Services will be on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at Brown Dawson Flick funeral home, 1350 Millville Avenue. Hamilton Ohio 45013. Visitation will begin at 10:30 am. Followed immediately by the funeral at 12:30 officiated by Dr. Rick Rhodus. Burial will be at the Millville Cemetery, followed by a reception at Auburn Baptist Church.
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