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Jolene Combs

Memorial: A public memorial service for Jolene has been set for Friday, July 22, at 3 p.m. at Riviera United Methodist Church on Palos Verdes Blvd. in Redondo Beach.


A much beloved figure in local journalism education, Jolene Combs, passed away two nights ago, suddenly and unexpectedly.

A graduate of USC and much a part of the Trojan family, Jolene was a lifelong local journalism education figure who ran a very popular journalism program at El Camino College in the South Bay. The program's alumni are scattered at newspapers throughout California and the US.

Jolene had been retired for about three years from her community college perch but became deeply involved in high school journalism curriculum planning almost immediately. Last year, she co-anchored a program that brought journalism back to 10 LAUSD high schools, training advisers as well as students. She was also much involved with the Journalism Education Association's national conference for high school students, last held this past April in Anaheim.

The Daily Breeze profiled Jolene when she retired in March 2008; and once again, because of LANG's anti-archiving policy, the profile is no longer online.

A spokesperson for the family told me this morning that the cause of Jolene's death was a heart attack, brought on by a severe pneumonia that was aggravated by an advanced but previously undiagnosed lung cancer.

A memorial service is pending.