AUSTIN, TEXAS

Barbara Ray Littleton (Parshall) Combs


Jan. 28, 1918 – Nov. 1, 2010


Barbara Ray Littleton (Parshall) Combs of Austin, Texas, died early Monday morning Nov. 1, 2010, at the age of 92.

She was born to Bonnie and professor A.C. Littleton on Jan. 28, 1918, in Champaign, Ill.

Barbara attended Thornburn Junior High, St. Catherine’s School in Davenport, Iowa, and Urbana High School in Urbana, Ill. She was co-valedictorian of her 1936 graduating class. She enrolled in the University of Illinois as an English and speech major, pledged the Pi Beta Phi sorority, excelled academically and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Mortar Board.

Following graduation, Barbara married Richard Palmer (Dick) Parshall in 1941. While he was in the Navy in the Pacific during World War II, she began raising the first two of their three children. After the war ended, they settled in Waukesha, where their third child was born. Both Barbara and her husband were founding members of the Waukesha Civic Theatre and were active in Civic Theatre productions for many years. Her other activities included volunteering at the Waukesha Service Club and later serving as its president.
Barbara was widowed in 1977. Two years later, she married a second time, to O.B. Combs, professor of horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, gaining a wonderful new set of family members and enjoying a great deal of world travel. She moved from Madison to Austin, Texas, in 2005, becoming an avid Longhorns football fan and Skip-Bo player.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, Dick Parshall, and second husband, O.B. Combs. Two of her stepchildren, Thomas Herbert Combs and Mary Jane Combs, also preceded her in death.

She is survived by her three children: son, Richard Vernon Parshall and wife Ruth; daughter, Gail Pakalns Naruo; son, Craig Littleton Parshall and wife Janet; and two surviving stepchildren, Dr. James Arnold Combs Sr. and wife Beverley; and Robert Combs and wife Ann; as well as 13 grandchildren and 11 surviving great-grandchildren.

Many thanks are extended to her friends at the French Quarter apartments for their care and friendship, making her adjustment to life in Texas an enjoyable one. A special thanks to Robin Turner, the French Quarter manager. The family is also grateful to all her fellow Longhorn football TV fans and her friends in the Shakespeare reading club.

In lieu of flowers, a donation in the name of Barbara L. Combs may be made to the following organ donation organization: LifeGift, attn. M. Harris 2510 Westridge, Houston, TX 77054 (800-633-6562).

Services next summer in northern Wisconsin will be private.

Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 512-452-8811, is serving the family.