Cover photo for Dr. Sarah Phyllis Combs's Obituary
Dr. Sarah Phyllis Combs Profile Photo
1950 Dr. 2023

Dr. Sarah Phyllis Combs

October 21, 1950 — October 29, 2023

Dr. Sarah Phyllis Combs

Dr. Sarah Phyllis Combs, born Oct 21, 1950 in Newark Ohio, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Oct 29, 2023 surrounded by loved ones and with serenity and peace. The day before she passed away, she said she felt that she was “floating on a raft of love.”

Sarah enjoyed travel and loved people.  From Seattle to Saudi Arabia to Sri Lanka she stitched together a beautiful blanket of dear ones she loved. Once woven into the fabric, they remained connected for life.


During her adult lifetime Dr. Combs had a highly varied career in public health that took her from being a visiting nurse in the slums of Baltimore to being a featured lecturer at the central headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva

As preparation for this work Sarah had sound educational foundation that included a Master’s degree in Public Health (MPH) from Johns Hopkins and a Ph.D. in public health administration from the University of Colorado in Denver.

Early in her career Sarah enlisted in the US Navy and served for two years at the Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C.  She was always proud of her service.

Near the end of her career she had another job in which she found great satisfaction – working at the Rocky Mountain Survivor Center in Denver for eight years (2000 -2008).

The Survivor Center provided comprehensive medical and settlement support to survivors of torture and their families who have somehow escaped and found their way to Denver from countries all around the world.  During Sarah’s time most of the clients came from countries in Africa.

Sarah moved to Montrose in late 2011.  For a while she continued to teach advanced nursing classes online for Regis University in Denver, but declining health later led her to let that go.

In her civilian mode in Montrose Sarah became involved with a number of local clubs and organizations.

In her daily life Sarah read voraciously, laughed infectiously, loved deeply and appreciated the beauty in the expected and the unexpected.

She loved poetry, dancing, funny cat videos, opera, and her friends.

She will be missed.

A funeral for Dr. Sarah Phyllis Combs will be held at Zion Lutheran Church in Montrose on Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 2:00 PM and catered light refreshments will be served.

The street address for Zion Lutheran Church is 701 South Junction Ave. (Junction Ave. is one block east of Nevada). Sarah Combs is survived by her life partner Rod Britten (in Montrose) and by her surviving family members (in various locations).  These relatives include her sisters, Carol Pike and Suzy Congee,

her brother Tim Combs, her nieces Andrea Witherill, Kiyas Dimmer, and her nephews Chris Combs and Joey Zbegner.

The late departed Sarah also embodied the title Great Aunt to Sarah, Omar and Safia Mounadi as well as to Aiden Combs. Crippin Funeral Home of Montrose is assisting Dr. Combs’ family.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Sarah Phyllis Combs, please visit our flower store.


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