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James A. Combs Jr.

James A. Combs Jr.

ALEXANDRIA—James Arthur Combs Jr., 74, died Tuesday, November 9, 2021, in Alexandria of complications from Parkinson’s Disease.

Born August 16, 1947 in Appalachia to James Sr. and Ruth (Beckner), Jim lived in the DC area since 1952.

He attended Western High School and started his career in federal service with the United States Postal Service upon graduation. He joined the EPA shortly after its founding in 1970 and retired with 42 years of federal service.

At retirement, he bought a home in the Northern Neck where he spent many happy days on the water. Jim was a kind, warm man who never met a stranger and could talk with anyone.

A dedicated sportsman, he was often found with a fishing rod in hand or working on tackle. He co-founded one of oldest bass angling clubs, Potomac Bassmasters of Virginia, in 1970, was a part-time fishing guide on the Potomac River, and had the first guide service on Lake Anna. He especially enjoyed teaching kids to fish and looked forward to the club’s annual kid’s fishing derby. 

He embraced life and was especially devoted to his wife, Rebecca L. Woods and daughter, Laura Barmby (Scott). In addition to his wife and daughter, he is also survived by three siblings, Stephen C. Combs, Jody Duggan and Sharon McMichael; his grandchildren, Julia and Rex; and one great-grandson, Grayson.  He loved his stepdaughter, Christine Gordon (Jason) and her children, Griffin and Phoenix; as well as his sisters-in-law, Robin Woods, Randy Woods and Renée Stramel. He was beloved as Uncle Jimmy by his nephews and nieces, Steve, Mary, Megan, Melissa, Amy, Jay and Scott. He’ll be missed by his cousin, Mike Beckner; and longtime friends and fishing buddies Jim Simmons, Greg Cronin, Jerry Fadness and Rick Lockhart.

We know he is looking forward to seeing his friends who predeceased him, Arnold Aspelin, Bob Griffin and Bob Wiesier and again sharing stories about the big one that got away.

A Celebration of Life will be held along the Potomac River in the spring.  Donations in lieu of flowers to Potomac Bassmasters will be used to fund their annual Kids’ Fishing Derby or to Health Wagon of Wise,  For further information on donations or the Celebration of Life, please contact

Rappahannock Record Staff
Rappahannock Record Staff
From the Rappahannock Record news team
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