David Earl Coombes

5/14/1941 - 3/2/2018

Obituary Overview

David E. Coombes

Dave's picture was painted by Susan Sweet.


May 14, 1941   ~   March 2, 2018

Dave passed away peacefully Friday, March 2, 2018, in the Hants Community Hospital, Windsor.

Born May 14, 1941, in Windsor, Hants County, Nova Scotia, he was raised at Castle Frederick, Upper Falmouth, by his parents the late Herb and Gwen (Rockwell) Coombes.

David left school early to work the farm with his dad. A few years of milking cows led him back to upgrade math and head to NSAC. He and Frances (Davis) married in 1963 prior to finishing his BSc in Agriculture at MacDonald College at McGill in Montreal. Their romance began when Fran edged out Dave as Grand Champion 4H cattle showman at the 1960 Hants County Exhibition. During his time in university he was president of College Royal, and played hockey at every opportunity.

Shortly after graduation the young family returned to Nova Scotia, and Dave was soon hired as manager of Hants County Ex (North America’s oldest Agriculture Fair) and the Atlantic Winter Fair. Under much controversy and to his mother’s horror he developed N.S.’s first casino at the AWF as well as Ex Hi lotto in the early 70’s. He was a creative manager and often just a little ahead of his time. He also brought the DuMaurier Cup international show jumping to Halifax and managed the N.S. Provincial Ex for many years. Managing fairs was his passion and he was in his 53rd year with Hants County Ex.

Along the way he won various awards including National Fair Manager of the Year and was inducted into the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions Roll of Honour. He was a leader and well respected in his field.

Though he left the farm he still did his best thinking on a tractor and could drop a tree on a dot. He was always happiest with a chain saw in his hands.

He made the fateful mistake of buying his young girls a pony, and until recently he was still hauling hay, fixing fences, hurrying up and waiting to watch two of his grandchildren show their horses. He was more at home cheering on the other two at the rink or soccer field.

In his 60’s he had the good fortune of travelling the world, with his brother-in-law and best friend John Ainsworth. Great adventures included the silk trail in Ubekistan, the killing fields of Vietnam and Cambodia, the pyramids of Egypt, Machu Pichu in Peru, South Africa, China, and a special trip to the Middle East with his granddaughter. Each trip was better than the last and even more than the places, he loved the people that he met, realizing we are all the same no matter our culture or language.

He was not one to mince words or shy away from difficult decisions. He was a consummate manager and always aware of the bottom line. He quietly helped people when they needed it and was someone who could be counted on to solve a problem or give sensible sound advice if asked.

Dave passed on his work ethic, determination, practical nature, and little fire in the belly - a trait that enabled him to keep working until a few weeks ago, through his battle with cancer.

Dave is survived by wife, Frances; daughters, Lisa (Terry) Hines and Jennifer (Peter) Macpherson; grandchildren, Sydney (Gordon) Caldwell, Joe (Mallory) Hines, David (Maddy) and Alex (Stevie) Jamael; great-grandchildren, Levi and Naomi; and sister, Chella (Ken) Henderson.

Besides his parents, he was predeceased by daughter, Heidi at birth.

Special thanks to Dr. Lori Wood, Donna Boyd, Amber Phillips, VON and Palliative Care, Drs. Jim Leahy and Mark Kazimirski for the wonderful care. Thanks also to Dave’s good friend Ron McDonald for his never ending support, and to exhibition staff for going above and beyond over the past year.

In lieu of flowers or donations, it’s Dave’s wish you take that money and support your local exhibition. Sponsor a class or event, volunteer, and take your family to keep the spirt of our agricultural traditions healthy and alive for years to come. Hants County Exhibition and the Hants County Agriculture Society, P.O. Box 368, Windsor, NS, B0N 2T0.

To place a donation card, please call Lindsay's at (902) 798-2232.

Visitations will be held 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, in Lindsay’s Windsor Funeral Home, 194 King Street, P.O. Box 2218, Windsor, B0N 2T0.

Funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 8, 2018, in the Windsor United Church, 613 King Street, Windsor, with Rev. Karen Lynch officiating, with reception to follow. Interment will be held at a later date in the Maplewood Cemetery, Windsor.

To add your condolence click on Guestbook.

David  Earl  Coombes

His Journey's Just Begun

Don't think of him as gone away
his journey's just begun
life holds so many facets
this Earth is only one
Just think of him as resting
from the sorrows and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort
where there are no days and years
Think how he must be wishing
that we could know today
how nothing but our sadness
can really pass away
And think of him as living
in the hearts of those he touched
for nothing loved is ever lost
And he was loved so much.

Funeral Details

  • Visitation

    Lindsay's Windsor Funeral Home Chapel

    Event Times

    3/7/2018 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

  • Funeral Service

    Windsor United Church

    Event Times

    3/8/2018 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM

  • Reception

    Windsor United Church Annex

    Event Times

    3/8/2018 2:45 PM - 4:30 PM

More Details & Directions

Posted by Cindi & Wayne Northup | 3/12/2018

Dear Francie, Lisa, Jennifer & families, I am so sorry for your loss. Dave was such a great guy and I always enjoyed meeting up with him. I could always count on his witty remarks and more than a few laughs. I can only imagine how much you will all miss him. Thinking of you. Cindi

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Posted by Sherry and John Swinamer | 3/12/2018

Dear Fran and family: Everyone has wonderful memories of Dave--he was such a friendly even-tempered person who coped so well in a stressful job. Hopefully your memories will help in the days ahead. Our sincere condolences,

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