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Stephen Louis Combest

October 14, 1953 - April 4, 2018

Stephen Louis Combest was born in St. Joseph, Missouri on October 14th, 1953 to Shirley Mae and Raymond Combest. In 1956, Shirley and Steve’s baby brother, Gregory, lost their lives in a car accident.  Steve was the oldest of his father’s six children, and is survived by his brothers Phil and Scott, and sisters Lisa and Tracy.

A legendary full-back on his high school football team, Steve was devastated when he suffered an injury that took him permanently out of the game. His hope of a football scholarship was lost, and to add insult to this injury, his high school sweetheart left the state for college.

One of Steve’s favorite stories to tell was the way he found Jesus in a Hindu temple. In his late teens, Steve began visiting a Vedanta temple in Hollywood. Struggling in his attempt to reach “Nirvana,” Steve went to the guru to seek advice. The teacher looked him over and said, “You’re American, yes? Try meditating on Jesus.” Steve went home that night and began meditating on Jesus. The heavens opened for him, and he and never looked back. 

Soon after, Steve began his academic career at a few different bible colleges in California, but a few months before graduation, he heard a call to join a team starting a church in Colorado. He continued in his passion for ministry and pastored thousands throughout his life with a particular passion for God’s healing power and ministering to the poor.

In 1978,  he met the love of his life, Michele. They were married in December, 1980. Steve became stepfather to Michele’s young daughter Rachel Terese, and had four more daughters (Julie Anne, Lydia Michele, Zadie Theresa Lynn, and Rebecca Grace) and one son (Gregory Peter) with Michele. Steve is also survived by three grandchildren: Ethan Douglas Bush, Alissa Michele Bush, and Tulsi Adrien Nelson.  

Reclusive, surprisingly silly, often formidable, and always mysterious, Steve’s family didn’t always know what to expect from him, but they knew one thing: he sought after God with his whole heart.  Steve’s last Christmas he encouraged his family to share in joy and not wallow in the sorrow of his illness.  In his devotional notes his family discovered his lists of “Great Joys.”

Great Joy

  • Michele walking down the aisle – beautiful bride, exquisite dress
  • The birth of my kids
  • Hitting my first home run in little league
  • Scoring a 64 yard touchdown with my dad watching in the stands
  • Christmas morning – the coolest race track
  • Little Tulsi

Steve died on April 4th, 2018 surrounded by his family and close friends singing him to sleep. We love you and miss you immensely. 


4 Responses

  1. Sharon Huegel says:

    Steve was a vital link in the spiritual life of my hubby, David, and myself. He exercised great wisdom and patience with us as we were struggling to find the Lord’s path for our own lives. Though Steve and Michele’s time in the town of McCook was relatively brief in earthly time, the impact of his teaching, his pastoral care, and his love for us, through Christ, has made an irreplaceable mark on our entire life, and by extension, the lives our children. We will miss knowing that he is no longer a phone call away, but we look forward to the day we will be reunited with our dear friend for all eternity. Much Love to Michele, and all of their children!

  2. Sally Hart says:

    Dearest Michele,
    I can’t even imagine how hard this is for you! I’m not close, but here on my knees in prayer for you and the whole family.
    I love you

  3. Sandy Hudgens says:

    Steve and Michele ministered to Tony and I before leaving Vineyatd. I lost Tony to cancer last August. So very sorry for your loss, loved Steve and his wonderful heart. God bless you …. Sandy Hudgens

  4. Samantha Eckerling says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. If there is anything I can do, please let me know.