Sexton, St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Donald Combe was born in Niagara Falls. He attended St. Mark’s Church as a child, when his family summered in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Following his graduation from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, England, he taught in Toronto. In 1977 he moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake, taught ESL at Niagara College and became increasingly interested in St. Mark’s historic cemetery. As Sexton, which is a volunteer position, he cares for the oldest cemetery in continual use in Ontario, providing him with “satisfaction and endless history lessons.” Ten years ago many of the trees in the four acre cemetery were in bad shape and had to be removed. Donald has overseen the planting of nearly 100 mature trees.
On retirement in 1990 Fred Habermehl and Donald began an OGS project of transcribing the stones in St.Andrew’s and St.Vincent’s cemeteries. This led to a publication of Stones, Saints and Sinners. In retirement the two have published twenty four books and numerous articles.
A true story-teller, he said the lives of the people interred in the cemeteries interested him and their stories needed to be remembered.