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Ferne Combs

June 11, 1920 - August 20, 2017

Burial Date: August 26, 2017

Funeral Home Killdeer, ND

Funeral Service: 10:00 a.m., Saturday, August 26, 2017, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Killdeer

Prayer Service: 6:00 p.m., Friday, August 25, 2017, Stevenson Funeral Home, Killdeer.

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Funeral Services for Ferne (Nordin) Combs, 97, of Killdeer, will be 10:00 a.m., Saturday, August 26, 2017 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Killdeer with Pastor Dorothy Williams officiating. Burial will take place at a later date.

Visitation for Ferne will be from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday, August 25, 2017 at Stevenson Funeral Home in Killdeer with a prayer service being held at 6:00 p.m.

Ferne passed away Sunday, August 20, 2017 at Hill Top Home of Comfort in Killdeer.

Ferne Anne (Murray) Nordin Combs was born at home on June 11, 1920 on a farm near Beulah, ND to Charlie and Anne Murray. She was the 5th of 6 children born to this union. Ferne graduated from Beulah High School in 1936 as the youngest student to graduate high school at age 15. Ferne skipped two grades at the country school because she was a fast learner and even though she was so young, Ferne was the salutatorian of her senior class.

After graduating in 1936, Ferne enjoyed a few years teaching at country schools. During the school year of 1937-38, she attended NDSU for one year. After this, she worked at the Bank of Beulah, where she met her first husband, Reuben Nordin. On July 20, 1941, Ferne married Reuben and to this union four children were born.

After World War II, Reuben and Ferne lived on a farm south of Sentinel Butte. Ferne and her children stayed on the farm for a couple years after Reuben’s death in 1959.

Ferne married her second husband, John C. Combs on August 1, 1961. They moved to Killdeer, ND in August of 1961 because John’s job was transferred to the Killdeer Soil Conservation Service. From this union one child was born.

Shortly after arriving in Killdeer, Ferne started the Happy Homemakers Club. The club is still in existence and has thrived for over 45 years. Dunn County awarded Ferne and John the Dunn County Family of the Year award in the late 1980’s.

Ferne was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church where she was active in WELCA and was the organist for over 40 years. While residing at Hill Top Home of Comfort for the past 7 years (2010-2017), she played the piano for weekly church services. Up until recently, you could find Ferne down in the Fireside room playing the piano just for fun during the day.

Ferne worked at the Killdeer Log Cabin Library as the head librarian for over 30 years. She enjoyed the twice weekly story time with local children. Ferne spearheaded the drive to get a four mill levy passed to modernize the Log Cabin Library and build the baseball field that used to be at the rodeo grounds.

Ferne was the first woman to serve on the Killdeer School Board where she served three terms for 9 years. Also, in 1981-82, Ferne and John hosted an exchange student from Columbia named Luz Hoyos Piedad. They later visited Luz in Columbia in the late 1980’s. Ferne and John traveled to Alaska three times to visit their daughter Carolyn, even helping to drive down the Al-Can highway when Carolyn moved out of state. In addition, she and John visited her niece and family and her sister Deane and husband John in Scotland and England in 1997. Over the years, they traveled throughout much of the US visiting friends and family.

Ferne was a wonderful mother to James (Jim) Nordin –deceased (JoAnn Craven), Doreen Nordin Orf (Dale), Candace Nordin Jerke (Charlie), Kenton Nordin, and Carolyn Combs Moyer.

She is survived by her brother, Herman Don Murray; her son Kenton, her daughters Doreen, Candace, and Carolyn; nine grandchildren, Shannon (Wike) Glenn and Devin, Rebecca (Nordin) Guinn and Dustin, Jean (Nordin) Evans and Bob, Kalcey Wike and Jody Pfaff, Sonya Rice and Niels Warburton; Tonya (Rice) Booth and Jackson, Mike Nordin and Jenny, Tecara Moyer, and Carter Moyer; thirteen great-grandchildren, Alexandre and Talyn Glenn, Andrew (Drew) and Lauren Guinn; Lili, Alma (Ali) and Bobby Evans, Jaydon and Emma Wike, Rasmus and Josephine Booth, and Delilah and Scarlett Nordin.

Ferne is preceded in death by her parents; her two husbands; her son Jim; brothers Paul and Glenn; and sisters Verdie and Betsy Deane.

Ferne was dearly loved by her family and will be greatly missed.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the High Plains Cultural Center in Killdeer, ND.

Combs Ferne


Phone: 866-483-7900
Fax: 701-483-7901
2067 1st Street West
Dickinson, ND 58601