Brattleboro- Joseph Carroll Coombs, Jr., 88, of Pine Street, known affectionately as Poppy Joe, died unexpectedly Saturday, May 18, 2019, at his home in Brattleboro.
Poppy Joe was born in Brattleboro on August 16, 1930, the son of Joseph Carroll and Helen (Mann) Coombs. He was raised and educated in Brattleboro, attended Saint Michael’s Parochial School and was a graduate of Saint Michael’s High School. He went on to attend Saint Michael’s College in Winooski.
A proud veteran, he served his country in the United States Air Force, serving during the Korean War. Following his honorable discharge from active service he returned home and moved to Rutland where he began working for General Electric in their Ludlow and Rutland plants, retiring in 1992.
He was a life-long member of the B.P.O. Elks, holding membership in both the Brattleboro and Rutland Lodges.
Of his leisure time activities, Poppy Joe enjoyed walking, traveling to Maine with his wife, Fran, and working outside. He was an avid Boston Red Sox and New York Giants fan.
Survivors include his wife of 19 years, Mary Frances Rooney, five children, Francis and his wife Joyce, Brian and his wife Marie, Kevin and his wife Susan, Laurie Ann and Charles, six grandchildren, Breana, Jeffrey, Kristen, Nate, Carly, Riley and a great grandson, Brian.
Additionally, he leaves a brother-in-law, Robert Ratti, of Brattleboro, many nieces, nephews, and Fran’s two children, Mary Elizabeth Rooney and Timothy Michael Rooney, and her grandchildren, Michael, Catherine and Rachael Rooney.
He was predeceased by his first wife of 42 years, Marianne Elizabeth Rice Coombs, who died on November 13, 1998, a brother, Charles Robert, and a sister, Mary Elizabeth Ratti.
The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday at 11:00 A.M. at Saint Michael Roman Catholic Church with Fr. Justin Baker, pastor, celebrant. Burial with full military honors will follow in Saint Michael Parish Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home Friday morning from 10 A.M. until the start of the Mass. A memorial service in celebration of his life will be held in Rutland at a later date to be announced by the Clifford Funeral Home of Rutland.
Memorial contributions in Poppy Joe’s name may be made to St. Brigid’s Kitchen, 47 Walnut Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301, Windham County Humane Society, PO Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302, or the Rutland County Humane Society, 765 Stevens Road, Pittsford, VT 05763.