The Samovar

Gary Combs (1947-2012)

Rasputin - 2/22/2012 at 18:11

It is with great regret that we announce the passing of one of Rossica's longest-serving officers, Gary Combs. He stood in as Acting Treasurer in 1991 when Norman Epstein became too ill to continue, and he guided the Society's finances until 2006. He also served as Rossica President from 1998 to the end of 2009, instituting a number of innovations and projects like this website, the collaboration with the University of Florida to post Rossica journals on line, and the layout of Arnold Levin's book on mute cancels, to name just a few. He had been battling severe illness for some years, and finally succumbed on the morning of Monday, 20 February. Our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to his wife Lorraine and his children. May he rest in peace.

Alep - 2/23/2012 at 05:02

My deep condolences!

Maxime Citerne - 2/23/2012 at 07:43

This is indeed a sad news and I join my condoleances to the family of Gary.

All the exchanges I had recently with Gary by emails were of a friendly, skillful and very helpful nature.

I thanked him many times for his precious help and the world of Russian philately has lost a precious member.

Cmarsha - 2/23/2012 at 22:08

Gary and I had been corresponding by email. I had no idea he was ill, his mind was as sharp as ever and he was a great mentor not only to me but to many others both in and out of the society. Strangely I found myself thinking of him the other night and how I needed to get back to him to continue our dialogue.

He'd been trying to influence me toward collecting postal history- something I always felt I did not have the inclination for. He translated the markings on several covers I'd sent him photos of.

I have no idea what happens when we die; but I hope Gary is someplace in company with other philatelists. Godspeed, old friend.


verny - 2/25/2012 at 11:55

A real shock logging on to the Samovar today, I have been in correspondence with Gary for many years, the last time just a few days ago, a dialogue that will forever be suspended in mid flow. Gary will be sorely missed he was a great inspiration and gave freely of both time and knowledge. My heartfelt condolences to his family.

David Jay - 3/9/2012 at 01:20

Gary was cantankerous, difficult, and competitive, BUT endlessly giving. Those emails with his name in CAPS -- he did not mean to be ignored, and we are the better for it. It really is a shock and a loss to know that I will no longer be assaulted by emails questioning my knowledge (pointing out what I didn't know by providing additional information) and my assumptions about any and every aspect of Russian philately (why did I ever think or say those things??). As verny said, he did not let on that he was ill -- my last email from his was only 3 weeks ago. I was always assuming that sometime, when I was in the D.C. area with some time, I could go out for a beer with him.

Though I've not been involved in the management of Rossica, Gary really helped make the organization what it is today.

One of our links to the past (and future) has been lost. As others have said more articulately, condolences to the family.

venets - 4/9/2012 at 04:39

I can't emaging that I shall not receive new messages from Gary with his questions. It was a great pleasure to answer him, and ...
No I have no proper words. Mau he rest in peace.

ameis33 - 4/22/2012 at 11:17

Kind of news i'd like never hear. It's a shock.
Will god take care of his soul

stamplover - 4/25/2012 at 12:40

Gary contacted me about a mistake in my display in November last year. His emails were kind, considerate, friendly, and very useful. A great loss for the Society.