Patty Comber with the Lord

May 04, 2012

Jayne Clark, associate dean of students, remembers her friend and predecessor Patty Comber (M.Div., '90). She was 62.

Patty Comber, who served Westminster as associate dean of students and director of international students for eighteen years, died peacefully in her sleep on Monday, April 23rd after a three-year battle with cancer. She was the first woman to graduate with the M.Div. General degree, and began working at Westminster soon thereafter.  With her warm smile, infectious laugh, and incredible gift for hospitality, Patty created an environment that welcomed students into seminary life, and helped them through the challenges and rigors of their studies. She was as concerned for student wives as for students themselves, and she went out of her way to help international students become acclimated to living and studying far from home.

The more obvious gift might have been creating a welcoming environment, but the real gift and one of Patty’s greatest passions was to bring people together so they could encourage each other in their faith and love of the Lord. By hosting regular lunches for women students, she gave them the chance to talk about what they were learning in class and hear from recent graduates what they were doing. By creating the monthly Faculty Lecture Series, she enabled student wives to enjoy some of the great teaching their husbands were getting everyday. The annual WOW (Women of Westminster) retreat provided all the women connected to the seminary the chance to come together for fellowship, teaching and worship. Where Patty really excelled was one-on-one. She was a great listener, had wonderful insight, and genuinely cared for people. Patty’s love for God, his Word, and his Kingdom informed her every conversation and especially her prayers.

Patty will be missed by all who knew her, but we will continue to give glory to God for her life and ministry.

The Patricia Comber Scholarship Fund has been established in her honor to help support seminary education for women. Contributions may be made here, or sent to Westminster Theological Seminary, P.O. Box 27009, Philadelphia, PA 19118.