"Having grown up in Gulfport all my life. When someone says mayor the first name that comes to my mind is Ken Combs," says Mickey Banks, family friend.
Former mayor Ken Combs died late Tuesday after a brief battle with lung cancer at the age of 77. He served his community, cherished his family, and honored his God.
"He was one of the finest men I ever knew he was like a father to me," says Steve Dickerson, friend and former co-worker.
Combs was a brigadier general who served his country for more than forty years. His career included service in the Marine Corps, Army National Guard and the Air National Guard.
He was a Gulfport mayor who served three terms and was known for standing his ground when it came to what he believed in. Those who knew him outside of work, remember his dedicated service to the Trinity United Methodist Church for more than 40 years.
"I saw him quietly serving God in so many ways. He was just a wonderful Christian man," says Banks.
He was known for giving his money and time without much fanfare to make his community a better place. Although serving his community was a priority, those who knew him say his family was the greatest joy of his life.
He was married for nearly 60 years with five children, 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Those who love him say despite his heavenly departure, the flame that burned so brightly throughout his life will never extinguish. It will continue to burn in the hearts of those who love and remember the legacy he lives behind.
"We were so blessed to have him as our mayor of Gulfport. He will never be replaced in my heart," says Banks.
"Our lives our better because we were around him for the period of time that we were," says Dickerson. Combs was laid to rest at the Floral Hill Cemetery this afternoon in Gulfport. In honor of his service to his country, Ken Combs received a full 21 gun salute at the burial site.