Park bench honors longest serving magistrate in the Commonwealth

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RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ) – On Thursday, a Madison County community was finally able to honor a local leader who died in December.

“This would be my dad’s 70th birthday,” Agee said.

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People gathered together at Battlefield Park in Richmond to honor the life of 1st District Magistrate Larry Combs who died Christmas Day 2020.

His daughter Larinda Agee says he spent his life serving his community.

“To find someone so giving of themselves even maybe when they weren’t able to be physically or he would be tired and he would still go out and look at a road or handle something that somebody needed and that’s just truly a gift,” Agee said.

She says she typically has breakfast sitting next to his gravestone at the cemetery but she broke that tradition to see the bench dedicated in his name.

“My earliest memories of stories that my dad would tell me and thing were magistrate related and I think I knew what the fiscal court was long before a lot of my classmates as a little kid,” Agee said.

She says he’s one of a kind and Madison County Judge Executive Reagan Taylor agrees.

At the time of his death, Magistrate Combs served as the longest serving magistrate in the Commonwealth.

He served for 38 years.

“It’s hard to get reelected that many times but Larry did it because I think he served his community well, his district well, he loved them and they loved him,” Taylor said.

Sheriff Mike Coyle grew up with Larry and his twin brother Jerry.

“It’s been a lifelong friendship, we played together as youngsters growing up, we participated in sports all of our lives growing up,” Coyle said.

He says the dedication was something special.

“We’re here honoring Larry and remembering some of these events thats took place in our lifetime,” Coyle said.

There was a tree planted by the bench, a Tulip Poplar, one of Magistrate Combs’ favorite trees.