Scholarship Spotlight: Theodore R. and Rita A. Combs Scholarship

Ted Combs once said, “You can never take an education away from anyone”. One of his priorities in life was to see his four children all graduate from college. They knew it wasn’t if you were going to college, it was where.

“You can never take an education away from anyone” - Ted Combs

Combs attended New York State College before joining the Air Force to serve in World War II. A decorated pilot, he was shot down and spent time in a prison camp. Upon his return from the war, he received an engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and began a career in the office furniture business.


Combs balanced a successful career, loving family, and volunteer activities. During many years on the Sturgis Public Board administrators and fellow board members valued his solid business judgment.


Ted was a man of his word. Quiet, thoughtful, dependable, and kind, he was extremely well-read and an accomplished woodworker. He loved to fish and play golf. He was sought out for his ability to listen and give wise counsel. A tragic automobile accident in 1985 cut short a life with much more to give. At the time of his death, Combs was the CEO of Harter Corporation in Sturgis, Michigan.


To honor his commitment to higher education the Theodore R. Combs scholarship was established in his memory. His family hopes that those who receive this scholarship remember his words and share his values.


Ted’s wife, Rita, passed away in December of 2010 and the family added her name to the scholarship.





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Sturgis Area Community Foundation

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