NORTH BROOKFIELD-Shaler Emerson Combs, 89, of North Brookfield, died on December 23, 2020, at home surrounded by his family after a long illness.
He leaves his wife of 60 years, Kay E. (Proctor) Combs. He was a father to Daniel E. Combs and his wife, Carol (Nydam) Wirf; and to three daughters, Sharon P. Combs, Ruth E. Alford and her husband Mark, and Judith T. Combs, all of North Brookfield and Kathy Dismuke of Ocala, Florida. He was grandfather to five grandchildren: Jason Caddell, Nathannael Combs, Rachael Combs, Beth Alford and Hannah Alford. He also leaves his brother, Arthur D. Combs (90) of North Brookfield; a nephew David and his Wife Laura Combs and 2 great nephews Lee and Keith Combs all of Columbia, CT.
He served in the Navy during the Korean War. Serving on the USS Capricornus AKA-57 and the USS Iowa BB-61. He served 4 years active duty and 28 years active reserves, retiring January 1, 1985. Shaler was a member of the Brotherhood of Mason's for over 60 years.
Shaler was was born April 25,1931 in Worcester son of the late Don T. and H. Beaulah (Hawkins) Combs and graduated from Worcester Boys Trade. He became an apprentice at Sheet Metal Union #63 in 1957. He joined Sheet Metal Union #63 in 1961 and retired in 1993. After retiring, he began a full time career of producing maple syrup products and selling them from his home as well as at local Farmers markets. At one time he tapped trees all over the neighborhood as well as other places in town. He was proud of his sugar shack and invited everyone for tours of his maple producing process. He sold his maple sugar products at the Canal District Farmers Market, West Brookfield Farmers Market, the Brimfield Farmers Market, the Tantasqua Craft Fair and the Apple Country Fair in Brookfield. He generously shared his maple syrup with many people.
He was an auxiliary Police officer in North Brookfield. He was also a member of the First Congregational Church (joined in 1967) of North Brookfield where he served as Deacon, served on the Property Committee, taught Sunday School and was a Boys Brigade Leader for many years. He was also a long time choir member, singing into his late 80’s. He was a role model to many people. He was loving, generous, kind, compassionate, helpful, hardworking, adventurous, a lover of cats, creative, persistent, tenacious, had integrity and the gift of works, and a strong faith. He never knew a stranger and loved talking to anyone he met. He was dearly loved by many and will be deeply missed.
A memorial service for Shaler will be held in the spring at the First Congregational Church of North Brookfield followed by burial with full military honors in Walnut Grove Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the First Congregational Church of North Brookfield, 144 North Main St., North Brookfield, MA 01535 or online at firstchurchnb.org. Memorial donations may also be made to ARCHway Inc., 77 Mulberry Street, Leicester, MA 01524. Arrangements are under the care of Pillsbury Funeral Home 44 Gilbert St. North Brookfield.