Art Creative 02

Joyce Iona Combs

June 17, 1932 ~ October 2, 2020 (age 88)


Combs, Joyce

Pinckney, Michigan


Her Legacy… Joyce Iona Combs, 88, passed away October 2, 2020.  She was born on June 17, 1932, in Wayne, Michigan to Edward and Orril (Murray) Fair. Joyce married the love of her life, Otis Combs, on February 4, 1952, in Ohio. She will be remembered as a loving mother, and beloved grandmother. Joyce was a generous, cheerful, and outgoing person. She was always giving of herself and her time. Growing up, Joyce didn’t have much, and learned to sew her own clothes and repurpose items. Later in life she continued to sew for her own children, and used her creativity to create all kinds of crafts and art. Many people received ornaments that Joyce made, as well as hurricane lamps, and whimsical crafts. Her creative skills included: painting, ceramics, calligraphy, jewelry making, sewing, baking, and even singing and acting in her younger years. Everyone loved Joyce’s baking. She made many cakes over the years for cake walks to help support the kid’s schools. When she was in high school, Joyce was class president, was in theater, and sang in a quartet. She loved Big Band music, and even missed school to go see Woody Herman perform. Joyce met her future husband when she took a cab ride. Otis was her driver, and went through the phone book to find her and ask her out. Joyce spent time campaigning for Governor William Milliken. She hosted fundraiser carnivals for “Jerry’s Kids,” with games, snacks and movies. In her position of International Studies administrative assistant at Eastern Michigan University, Joyce oversaw the students who were travelling abroad. She tracked their travels, made sure they made their connections, and helped them out when they needed assistance. Her work with the university even sent her traveling across Europe. Throughout her life, Joyce faced many adversities. She was raised in poverty, and learned to take care of herself and others, she lost a daughter, and a husband, but somehow managed to keep going. Joyce was always finding a silver lining and smiling no matter what she face. She was a real woman of substance.


Her Family… Joyce will be missed by her children, Angela M. Combs, Roberta A. (Tim) Knittle; and grandchildren, Timothy Knittle, Brendan Knittle, Corrigan Knittle; She is preceded in death her husband, Otis Combs; daughter, Christine Combs; parents, Edward and Orril Fair; siblings, Edward Fair, James Fair, Gladys Fair, Calvin Fair, and Richard Fair.


Her Farewell… Joyce’s family and friends will gather privately to remember her life. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Muscular Dystrophy Association to help “Jerry’s Kids”, or the American Cancer Society. Please leave a message of comfort for Joyce’s family at 1-877-231-7900, or sign her guestbook at

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You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Joyce Iona Combs


American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City OK 73123
Tel: 1-800-227-2345

Muscular Dystrophy Association "Jerry's Kids"
161 N. Clark, Suite 3550, Chicago IL 60601
Tel: 1-800-572-1717