November 10, 1951 - August 10, 2015
Darlene Joanne McCombs was born November 10, 1951. She was born twenty minutes after her fraternal twin Dorothy Jeanne Hull in Rockledge, Florida, to Joanne Beatson Hull and Otis Eugene Hull. One of five siblings, De and her family lived in many amazing places: Florida, California, Oklahoma and Texas. After high school, she moved to Hawaii for three years. De eventually landed in Dallas, graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington with a BA in Sociology, and an MA in Public Administration. She then began a 28 year career at the City of Dallas. She married the love of her life, Steven Harbert McCombs, on August 9, 1985. Their son Jonathan Dewes McCombs was born on November 25, 1986. De passed away peacefully in her home among family and loved ones, a day after her and Steve’s 30th wedding anniversary on August 10, 2015.
Of all the things in life that De loved, Steve and Jonathan shared first place. She was so proud of Jonathan and all his accomplishments. Jonathan shared De’s love of travel and her passion for nature that he has turned into his life’s calling. Steve was always her greatest admirer; they were unfailingly proud of each other and all they accomplished in their life together.
De worked tirelessly for the City of Dallas in a variety of challenging roles, which she handled with the same determination and grace she lived her whole life. A naturalist at heart, she loved her final post at the Dallas Zoo, which she thought of as her dream job. She loved White Rock Lake and was a passionate supporter of it and the wildlife it supports. She and her husband Steve were active with the Corinthian Sailing Club for many years. In 2003 De combined her love for the lake with her dedication to the zoo and launched the Sailing for Rhinos to benefit the Dallas Zoo. When the demands of her disease made working for the city impossible, De threw herself into her next phase, mastering more skills than most have tried. She was an avid gardener, interior designer, leather worker, and photographer.
De will be remembered for her kindness, which she extended to every person she met without qualification. She had a gift of bringing people together and make them see what they had in common. Even as she fought hard against her cancer, looking for the next clinical trial that might beat it or give her more time, she never gave into self-pity, and instead used her experience to lift the spirits of others stricken with the disease. She was an inspiration for as many who were battling cancer as those who were not. Her determination, kindness, strength, and grace will live on in her memory.
She is survived by her husband Steve and her son Jonathan McCombs; twin-sister Dorothy Coshway, her sister Carolyn Sedinger and her husband Victor, her brother George Hull and his wife Rochelle, and her sister Susan Lengen and her husband Paul; and also by her stepsisters Sharon Fowler Williams and Pamela Fowler Boss and her husband Bill.
A Memorial Service, celebrating De’s life will be held Saturday, August 22, 2015, 11 a.m., at Highland Park United Methodist Church, on the corner of Hillcrest Rd. and Mockingbird Ln.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to The Susan G. Komen Foundation, or the Dallas Zoo, or to the Highland Park United Methodist Youth Fund.
Arrangements under the direction of:
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
10116 E. Northwest Highway
Dallas, TX 75238
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