Mary Ruth Combs-Waltz


Mary Ruth Combs-Waltz, 89, of Columbus, formerly of Madison, Indiana, passed from this life at 11:58 p.m. Thursday, August 3, 2017, at her home.

Mary Ruth entered this life February 20, 1928, in Jefferson County, Indiana. She was the loving daughter of Charles T. and Mary Risk Bentley.

Mary Ruth was a 1946 graduate of North Madison High School and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Hanover College in 1950. She later earned her Master’s Degree in Education from Indiana University.

Mary Ruth married Rufus H. Combs Jr. June 20, 1948. He preceded her in death December 30, 2003. She later married Charles Chuck Waltz, who also preceded her in death.

Mrs. Comb’s teaching career spanned 32 years and numerous schools. She began teaching at Central and Saluda in Jefferson County, Indiana, when her children were small. In 1957, when she and her family moved to El Paso, Texas, she spent six years as her children’s P.E. teacher. One year was spent teaching high school students in Kokomo, Indiana. The family returned to Madison, Indiana, in 1964 and, shortly thereafter, she began teaching at Lydia Middleton Elementary where she taught fifth grade for several years. The final years of her career were spent as a fifth-grade teacher at E.O. Muncie Elementary School. She retired in the mid-1990’s.

Mary Ruth was a past Worth Matron of the Madison Chapter Order of Eastern Star and she was a member of the Madison Retired Teachers Association. She was a member of Faith Alliance Church in Madison where she had been the church pianist, and she attended the Parkside Baptist Church in Columbus.

Mary Ruth’s highest priority throughout her life was her family. “Bum”/”Grammy” was always ready to look after her grandchildren, even if she had to travel a thousand miles to do so (and she often did). She never missed a graduation or wedding. If it involved her family, she was there. She was lively, enthusiastic, and energetic. No matter what or where her children were going, she was always ready to go along. Whether it was shopping, attending ball games or plays, touring museums, playing games, camping, hiking, rafting, skiing, snowmobiling, traveling in the U.S. or the U.K., she was game. Her last big adventure was parasailing, at the age of 88!

Everyone who met Mary Ruth was warmed by her smile and her open heart. She left a lasting legacy of caring and loving sacrifice for her family, friends, and students.

Mary Ruth is survived by her children, Karen Candy (Bob) Combs Boxwell of Fort Worth, Texas and Richard (Patricia) Combs of Columbus; grandchildren, Richard (Jessica) Combs Jr. of Greenfield, Daniel (Lisha) Combs of Franklin, Regan (Fabian) Boxwell Cruz of Bedford, Texas, Jared Combs of Columbus, and Erin (Phillip) Boxwell Vaden of Fort Worth, Texas; great-grandchildren, Cheyenne and Chase Ford, Lilly and Gretchen Combs, Brooklyn Summers, and Catherine and Ellie Vaden; and several nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

Mary Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; her husbands; and brothers, Charles Risk Bentley and Roy T. Bentley Sr.

The funeral will be conducted at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Barkes, Weaver & Glick Funeral Home on Washington Street with Pastor David Bentley officiating.

Family and friends may call from 9 a.m. until service time Tuesday.

The committal service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Hebron Cemetery near Madison.

Memorial contributions may be made to Our Hospice of South Central Indiana or the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Online condolences and special memories may be shared with the family and a video tribute may be viewed at