Paul M. Coombs, age 84, of Port Byron, New York, died on Aug. 18, 2017. He was the beloved husband for 62 years of Betty Jane Coombs. He was the brother of Charles (Gloria) Coombs, of Poughkeepsie; brother-in-law of Adele Ullman, of Auburn; father to Michael Coombs, of Port Byron, N.Y.; Mark (Elizabeth) Coombs, of Maple Grove, MN; Ron (Laura) Coombs, of Wexford, PA; and Ellen (Jeff) DiSanto, of Auburn, N.Y.
Paul was the proud grandfather of Matthew Coombs, Kimberly (Greg) Becker, Daniel Coombs, Allison DiSanto and Mackenzie Coombs. He was an uncle to five nephews and a niece.
A Navy veteran and a rifle and shooting instructor during the Korean conflict, Paul graduated from Cortland State College and received a Master’s from St. Lawrence University. His diverse career took him from Colorado Springs, CO to Massena, N.Y., Savanah, GA and Homer, N.Y. as a phys ed teacher, coach, FBI Special Agent and guidance counselor before moving to Port Byron to become the principal from 1972 to 1984. Before retiring, he was Port Byron Central’s state education fund grant writer and athletic director.
Paul’s varied interests included SCUBA diving, photography and sailing the St. Lawrence Seaway and Finger Lakes. He was a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Auburn, New York, the Port Byron American Legion and the Weedsport Rod and Gun club. He also previously served on the Village of Port Byron Board.
He was stern but fair and consistent in his coaching, teaching and working with kids throughout his career. He loved all the students and wanted them to excel. In retirement, he loved telling stories of his Massena high school baseball teams, the successes of kids he knew over his career in Port Byron and the latest news of his grandchildren’s athletics, drama performances and art shows.
Calling hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 22 at the White Chapel Funeral Home, 2719 Erie Drive, in Weedsport, New York. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23 at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 10 Prospect Street, Auburn, New York. Interment will be at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Port Byron, New York.
The son of a Syracuse Fire Chief and nurse, Paul cared deeply about kids, particularly ones who needed a little help to pursue an opportunity. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Port Byron Panther Education Foundation at Port Byron Central School, 30 Maple Ave., Port Byron, NY 13140 or the Port Byron Volunteer Fire Department, 52 Utica St., Port Byron, NY 13140.