Cover photo for David Coombs's Obituary
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David Coombs

July 23, 1951 — February 5, 2022

David Kemp Coombs was born on July 23, 1951, and after a wonderfully varied life, passed peacefully in
his sleep on February 5, 2022. His early years were spent living at the Deanery at St. John’s Cathedral in
Spokane, where his father was Dean, relishing in learning to climb the rocks across the street or reading
great adventure stories. He attended St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire from eighth grade
through high school, then received a Bachelor’s Degree from Harvard College, with an emphasis in
anthropology. Following college, David earned a Master’s in Business from Boston University, and a
Master’s in English from Washington State University.
From those early years climbing the rocks on the Cathedral close, David developed a lifelong love of
climbing that took him around the world. He was a member of the 1983 American Alpine team that
made the historic first ascent of the East Face of Mt. Everest through Tibet, and his years of experience
contributed significantly to the team’s success. David also reached such summits as Cho Oyu in the
Himalayas, Denali, “The Big Stones” in Yosemite, Mt. Fairweather, Mera Peak and the Khumbu,
Kilimanjaro, and many peaks throughout the Swiss Alps, to name a few.
David loved teaching, whether it was junior high English at St. George’s in Spokane, high school English
at Potlach, Idaho High School, introducing young people to mountaineering, or guiding people in
business. His extensive business career centered around improving product design and efficiency,
whether it was with Boston Whaler, Safeway or his own company Coombs Manufacturing. Upon moving
to Boulder, he spent several years as a consultant, assisting such companies as John Deere, Toyota and
large hospital entities to implement new efficient systems in product design, manufacturing and
As a life-long member of the Baha’i faith, family, friends, community and traditions were most
important to David. He proudly owned the family recipe for plum pudding that had previously only been
passed down to Coombs’ women, was quick to make birthday cake for friends and family, and especially
enjoyed preparing dinners for family and friends.
David was preceded in death by his parents, The Very Reverend Richard and Barbara Coombs, and his
sister, Margaret Coombs Farris (Mike). He is survived by his two children, Sarah Elizabeth Jewett Coombs
and David Frederick Jewett Coombs, his sister Catherine Coombs Moye (Peter), his brother Peter
Richard Coombs (Carrie), and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial celebrations in Spokane and Boulder will be at a later date. Donations in his name may be
made to Baha’i House of Worship for North American, the American Alpine Club, or Goodwill Industries.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Coombs, please visit our flower store.

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