Now, some of Jolene Combs‘ former colleagues and students at El Camino College are paying fond tribute in the wake of her death at age 69 from apparent pneumonia complications, as reported last Friday by Daily Breeze reporters Larry Altman (a regular speaker in Combs’ classes) and Douglas Morino (a one-time student). At the heart of Combs’ methodology was a principle that the late George Burns was equally fond of espousing when asked how he could keep going as a comedian–Do what you love to do:
“She really wanted her students to succeed,” said Lori Medigovich, an El Camino journalism professor since 1989. “She wanted them to have a good life and be happy… One of her biggest things was no matter what you do in life, you should love it, embrace it and do your absolute best at it. Whether it was journalism or, as she would say, selling refrigerators.”
Proving out her adage, Combs continued in the field after her retirement from El Camino College, working to try and revive journalism programs at LAUSD high schools by writing grants and helping train advisers. RIP.
[Image shown is from Combs’ Facebook profile]