Capt. Alvin “Jack” Combs of Southold died at home on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. He was 86.
The eldest of two sons, Jack was born to Capt. George Washington and Frances Combs on June 24, 1935. In his early youth he was raised in Freeport, Long Island, N.Y., and later in Southold, Long Island, N.Y. Jack was an 18th-generation Long Islander with direct ancestors on the Mayflower. The Combs family settled on Long Island in the late 1640s and were some of the original baymen, rumrunners, boat builders and market gunners.
As a young man, Jack was a hunting guide and fisherman, making his living off the bay; he even trapped pelts for Sears & Roebuck. With wife, Patricia, and a family of six children to support, he secured his Merchant Marine license and began work on the tugboats out of New York Harbor. In 1975, Jack and Patricia relocated their family to Peconic. In the early 1980s, Jack and Patricia opened HomePort Bed & Breakfast, the North Fork’s first bed & breakfast.
In the late 1990s, Captain Jack and his youngest son, Michael, relocated the historic Decoy Museum from the HomePort property to Hallockville Museum Farm in Jamesport, where it resides today.
A prolific carver, he could be found there most weekends. What began as a necessity, hand-carving snipe and wildfowl decoys, became a passion and solace in his later years. Capt. Jack Combs’ decoys and carvings have been shown at the Smithsonian and are in collections and museums across the United States and Europe.
Predeceased by his son Jack Jr., Jack is survived by his wife of 64 years, Patricia, and their children Sharon, Jacqueline, Thomas, Jennifer and Michael; 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
The family will receive friends Friday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to noon at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Southold, where funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Interment with U.S. Army honors will follow at Calverton National Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to Hallockville Museum Farm.
This is a paid notice.