Richard Frank Coombs

December 29, 1944 to January 31, 2020


            Richard (Dick) passed away, in the presence of his family, on January 31, after a brief stay at the Miller Center. Predeceased by his loving parents, Richard and Mary, sister Kay Dillon, and parents-in-law Cyril and Daisy LeMessurier. Leaving to mourn are his lifelong loving partner Gloria, children Lori (Kelly) and Rick, son-in-law Sean, and his beautiful grandchildren, whom he treasured, Sam and Katie Kelly. Also left with sadness are the families of Keith (Diane) Coombs, Bob (Georgie) LeMessurier, Mac (Kay) LeMessurier, Craig (Dawn) LeMessurier, Paul and Chad Dillon, plus many other relatives and friends. All will fondly remember Dick for his outgoing personality and love for a “good time” as well as his passion for education.


            Dick began his teaching career at Brother Rice High School and quickly rose to the position of Program Coordinator with the RC school board for St. John’s. He coauthored a textbook in Biology for students here and across the country. He was involved in the science fairs movement provincially and nationally and received several commendations for his efforts. He served on numerous local and national science education committees. He was a reservist in the militia and a band member of the CLB. His greatest achievement was the creation of the Brother Brennan Environmental Center in Salmonier, which is the beacon for teaching the beauty of nature and conservation to students.


            As a multi-talented person, he could play numerous instruments which often led to him and his colleagues providing entertainment at various events or simply jamming with friends. He enjoyed traveling, cruising, and camping. Later he and Gloria used their motor home to enjoy the outdoors and make many new friends.


            The family wishes to express gratitude to the medical team at the Bliss Murphy Cancer Clinic and the Miller Center for the care and compassion shown to Dick. A special thank you to Willis Power, his caregiver, for being so gentle, caring and comforting in his final months. Remains have been cremated and visitation will take place at Carnell’s Funeral Home, Freshwater Road, on Thursday, February 6th from 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM with funeral services to take place in The Carnell Memorial Chapel on Sunday, February 9th at 2:00 PM.  In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations, in Dick’s name, be made to either the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation or the Cerebral Palsy Association of NL. 



11 a.m. - 9 p.m. on February 6, 2020

Carnell’s Funeral Home
329 Freshwater Road
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2:00pm, Sunday February 9th

The Carnell Memorial Chapel
329 Freshwater Road
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I am sorry that I missed this notice of Dick’s passing. We spent many years working together bringing the Canada Wide Science Fairs to the province, and the Environmental Education project. He was thoughtful, hard working, and a pleasure to work with


I,´m sorry to learn of your brother’s passing. My sympathies to you and your family at this difficult time.

Glen Connolly

and all the extended family at this sad time.
Dick was great teacher and a visionary.His contribution to the establishment of the Brother Brennan Centre is part of his legacy for the youth of this province.
Rest gently RIP

My deepest sympathy to your family.

To Gloria and family,
My deepest sympathy to you and your family upon the passing of Dick. May the many happy memories of your years together bring you comfort.
Rita Janes

Dick was one of the good guys & a good friend during our teenage years. So sorry to hear about his passing.
My condolences to the whole family..

Winston Rideout

Dear Gloria & family:
Very sorry to hear of the loss of your husband and father and grandfather. We remember Richard (Dick) from our younger days while he visited in Toronto and our visits to Newfoundland! He was a warm, kind person who dearly loved his immediate family as well as his extended family. We will think of him always.

Gloria, Lori and Ricky:

So sorry to hear of Richards passing. Have many wonderful childhood memories growing up, and many memories of our children going to school together and being friends because we lived in same neighborhood. I know you too have lots of happy memories of him and it is those memories that will sustain you all during this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all as you travel this journey of life together.

Thinking of you and your family.. May all your special memories bring you some comfort at this time. Your father was a special man.

Stephanie & Carl

So sorry to hear of Richard’s passing. Our hearts go out to Gloria & the family..Even though we only met him a couple of times, he made a big impression.. a kind, happy man full of life & knowledge…we know that he will be greatly missed. Hold on to those precious memories you have, Cherish those happy times.. Love to the family
Linda (Coombs) & Jerry Sheppard

Gloria and Family..
Condolences to you and your family on Dick’s passing. You are in our thoughts are prayers at this sad time.
Pat and Sharen

Keith and family ,
I am so very sorry to hear of Dick’s passing. I remember Dick from family dinners especially at your house. He was always full of interesting opinions and fun to be with. He was a great family man and was always very supportive of his family. I am truly sorry for your loss. Dick will be missed, but he will live in our memories.

To the Coombs Family:
I was saddened to read of Dick’s passing in the Telegram Obituaries. As I reflect back on the years we spent as program coordinators, he with the St. John’s RC School Board and I with the Avalon Consolidated School Board, I think of our many collaborative projects, meetings, in-services, professional development activities, conferences, science fairs , etc., etc. where Dick was always an excellent resource person or organizer or chairperson whose attention to detail and ability to get things done was commendable. A good communicator with a great sense of humour and a love for socializing were attributes well known to his fellow educators.
I extend my sincere condolence to his family on their loss.

Uncle Dick was a kind, loving man. He always showed an interest in my life and was very supportive. His dry humor and stories were so entertaining.

Gloria, Lori, Ricky and family, my heart goes out to you during this hard time.

Gloria and family, so sorry to hear of Dick’s passing. please accept our condolences, because we can’t be there personally. Harold and Madge Squires

The Coombs Family
I was saddened to hear of Dick’s passing. Dick was certainly one of a kind. He was a very kind hearted individual with a passion for teaching, learning but truly took an interest in those around him. He was particularly kind to me during my early teaching years. For that., I am truly thankful. Deepest condolences to you all for your loss.

Gloria and family,

So sorry for your loss..
My condolences to you all at this time..

Keith, Diane and family,

Belle and I send our condolences to all of you at this time of loss and grief. We are so sorry for this great loss in your family. Our prayers are with you today and always.
God Bless
Belle & Don

Gloria, Lori, Ricky and Coombs family, Please accept my sincerest condolences. My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time! Judy Durant

Gloria, Lori and Rick
So sorry or your loss. He was a great neighbour and I will miss teasing him about his shrubs in the front. Always had a smile. Cherish your memories

Mary andLlawrence George

We met Dick and Gloria on our very first All Inclusive Vacation In Cuba. We had a wonderful time and Enjoyed our time spent with you both “Many Laughs “ So Sad to hear of Dick’s Passing Our Thoughts and Prayers are with you Gloria and Your Family 🙏 Reg and Marjorie Kennedy 💖

So sorry to hear of Dick’s passing. It was my privilege and pleasure to work with him on various projects over the years, and I was impressed by the dedication, energy and leadership that he brought to all that he did. Our collaborations on “Focus on Forests” and on the Brother Brennan Center in particular played an important role in developing my own appreciation of the value and necessity of environmental education. He has left a legacy his family can be proud of.

Coombs family
Mr coombs was one of my favorites customer when I worked at the village mall he was the kind of man everyone should strive to be my thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time god bless him and keep him in the palm of his hand
Gloria king bank of Montreal

Keith and family… Very sorry to hear of your brother’s passing..Condolences to you all at this sad time..

Gloria and family… We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you now.
Mike & Judy Bugden

RIP Dick.
A real gentleman who I had back in the 70’s at Rice.

Bill Hearn.

Dick was my uncle and godfather, a constant friend to my father, Keith, and a keeper of my family’s history. He was always the person to go to for information about Pop in the War, traditional music, and stories. He brought me and my brothers to the Brother Brennan Centre, taught us about nature, and took us fishing..

He was a person who cherished his family and knew every story and incident of our past by heart. Just to relate a quick anecdote, a couple of years ago Dad related a memory of having a pet monkey when he was a child.. Mom and I assumed that this was a joke on my dad’s part, or possibly that he had finally lost it.. But no, sure enough, we got the confirmation of the story from Dick who said that that my Pop (Richard Coombs) had acquired it from a shop on Campbell Avenue. Apparently it made a mess in the house so Nan (Mary Coombs) had it brought back to the store.

I will always treasure Dick’s connection to our family’s history and will miss his knowledge and enthusiasm. He fought cancer so bravely and so well for nearly three years, his fight was admirable and his spirit will live on in our family’s history now.

All my love to Gloria, Lori, Ricky, Sean, Sam and Katie. I am holding a space for you in my heart during this time.

“So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all.”
~ Tommy Makem

Gloria and family: So sorry to hear of Dick’s passing.. It was just over Christmas with some friends we wondered how he was doing. So sorry we won’t be able to attend his wake or funeral as we are presently out of the Province, but our thoughts and prayers will be with you all during this most difficult time. Dick, may God grant you eternal peace……Sincerely Pauline and Fred Quinton

I am sorry to hear of Dick’s passing. I want you to know that his legacy of the Brother Brennan Environmental Education Centre lives on and hundreds of children still enjoy staying there each year, giving them a wonderful opportunity to learn about nature. Dick’s hard work and dedication to the education of children will continue for a long time yet. May he always be with you in your hearts.
Best wishes.
Helen Spencer (teacher at the BB Centre)

So sorry to hear the news of your Dad’s passing.
Please accept condolences from all of us at the Newfoundland Cardiac Rehabilitation Association morning morning group.

Keith and family,

So sorry to hear of Richards passing, (Dickie) as we called him in school, little did I think living on the corner that he would become my high school teacher. He was very well liked by his students. A consummate gentleman, and a great educator. My condolences to you and your family my old friend.

Kind regards

Joe Conway, Alberta

Keith and all,

So sorry to just hear this sad news. My condolences.

Your long time buddy,
Bill Tulk

Gloria and Family
I am so sorry to hear of Dick’s passing. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

Gloria and family,
I am so very sorry to hear of Dick’s passing. It has been a long time since I have seen him but I remember the “Good Old Days’ when we all used to hang out together.. Such fun.! Those memories are what we need to remember not the sad ones. We will keep him in our hearts for ever.
Please accept my deepest sympathies. My thoughts, prayers and happy memories are with you at this difficult time.

Gloria, Lori, Ricky & Family,

You all know how much we loved Dick. He held a vey special place in our hearts.

Rest in peace, dear one.

Sophie & Harvey Diamond
Jennifer LeGrow
Craig Diamond

To Gloria and the Coombes family,
We are so sorry to hear of Dick’s passing.
I have so many great memories of the fun times we all had at our family gatherings as we grew up and into adulhood. Dick was a real character who always had a bright and humourous quip.. We know that he will be greatly missed..
Karen(Reid) and Charles Leskun

So sorry to hear of Dick’s passing. I had great respect for him and worked with him on both the Brother Brennen Centre and in the Sciences when he was Program Coordinator. He was a joy to work with since he attacked each project with enthusiasm and with great organizing skills that was second to none. May God Bless you and Comfort you in the days ahead as you deal with your loss. Rest in Peace, Dick.

A singular guy, with humour, wry,
With a twinkle in that devilish eye,
No friend could have a better b’y,
Nor brother-in-law, to be with, a joy.

Rest In Peace, Dick,

Bob LeMessurier

Gloria, and family, our deepest sympathies on Dicks’ passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Elizabeth and Bob

Dear Gloria and family, and Keith and family , we are so saddened to hear of Richards passing.. We have so many very fond memories of Richard , especially growing up. Very sincere condolences from the Reid family. God Bless.

My condolences to the Coombs family for your loss. He will be missed by all of us that knew him. I always will remember his wonderful sense of humour and his love of a good time.
Rest In Peace Dick.

Cec and I want to pay our condolence to this branch of the Coombs family. Losing a member is hard that is for sure. Our hearts go out to you. Gloria , Lori and family, Ricky, Keith Diane and family.

I remember Mr. Coombs well from Brother Rice as an entertaining and erudite scholar. Condolences to his family and friends. May he Rest In Peace.

-Terry Broaders, Class of 1975 Brother Rice

I am saddened to see Mr. Coombs has died and I am nostalgic and proud of my memories of him. Exactly 49 years ago he was my grade eleven Biology teacher. He was a natural teacher and an inspiring individual. Around school he was passionate and enthusiastic and he demonstrated a good sense of humor. We learned about Biology and life lessons too. Where has time gone? To his family members….his death is a loss; all the memories he has left us are treasures. Cherish the memories!

Coombs and extended Family Members, Sending our condolences as you grieve your loss and celebrate Dick’s life. His many accomplishments , family being first and foremost, and his educational career spanning many years, are a testament to his wonderful achievements. Hoping such memories bring you comfort in the days ahead. Sending thoughts across the miles.
Ron Power & Geri Doherty

Dear Gloria and the Coombs Family:
Our prayers and thoughts go out to you and your family in the recent passing of your dear husband and father. May you always keep Dick’s memory close to your hearts. Rest In Peace, Dick and Hid bless the Coombs family!

My sincere condolences to all the family. May you find some peace and comfort in all your happy memories. I worked with Dick at the RC School Board and have lots of fond memories of him. May he Rest In Peace.

Dear Gloria and Family,
Although I have not seen you in many years, I remember Dick as a very fun loving and happy person.
My heart goes out to you at this very challenging time.
Please accept my sincere condolences.

So sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time.
Arch Barrett and family.

Keith, Dianne and the Coombs family;
Dick was a happy, positive gentleman. Loved a laugh and had a great smile.
My condolences on his passing..

We have known the Coombs family for more than 50 years. Dick was very courageous in his struggle with cancer and may his examples in life’s journey continue to inspire his students, his professional colleagues and his family. Our prayers and thoughts are with Dick’s family and his many friends.

Pearl & Harvey Hodder

Knew Dick during his university days, many years ago. Condolences to family and friends. RIP

Worked with Dick at the RC Board what a lovely man lots of fun

My thoughts are with the family
Carole Sullivan Squires

Gloria,Lori,and Rick my thoughts and prayers are with you, may your memories bring you comfort in the days ahead.