Charles R. Lacombe
Artist and retired School of Fashion Design staff Charles (Chuck) René Lacombe’s passion and love of life didn’t come to an end with his death. On February 10 2023, Chuck passed away peacefully alongside his family, who will continue his legacy by living life to the fullest in his memory.
Born May 10 1948, Chuck began his life in Albion and Central Falls, RI before moving to Southern California, and ultimately to his beloved Boston, MA, where he lived for more than thirty years until his passing. Chuck first attended RISD for drawing and photography while working with friends and family at Sheldahl before earning degrees in Fashion Merchandising from the California Institute of Fashion, Fashion Design from the School of Fashion Design in Boston, and Floral Design from Ritners School in Boston. Chuck was an awarded chairperson and active advocate at AIDS Action for decades.
He had a lifelong passion for learning and creating, having drawn with charcoal since he was very young. He was an artist in any medium, transforming paper to vivid creations of thought, floral art pieces that transcended nature, or crafting delicate stitching and bringing to life dramatic clothing designs. In his later years, Chuck created complicated and beautiful garments for local renaissance fairs and events. The strongest Halloween trick-or-treater feared walking up his steps and many will remember Chuck for his Halloween displays at his home in Dorchester, surrounded by his close friends and community.
Chuck’s unwavering love for his friends and family was realized though elaborate dinner parties and gatherings, his passion for story-telling and a lust for life that could be heard down the hallways, lofts, or homes throughout Boston and Rhode Island. He loved to travel and was uniquely connected to Scotland as well as the Green Hills of Tennessee where he had lifelong friendships. He was in awe of nature and the environment. While he fabulously loved art, his cats, and his deep lasting friendships, his most prized creations were his three sons.
He was one of the cherished seven children of the late Albert Lacombe and Rita Palardy. He is survived by his sons, Derek Lacombe of Massachusetts, Ian Lacombe of Rhode Island, and Seneca Lacombe of Oregon and his mother, Terry Simpson of Rhode Island, a life-long friend. Chuck leaves four grandchildren.
Chuck leaves his loving and surviving siblings including his brother Ernest Lacombe, sisters Lillian McNeil and Celine Cote, as well as twenty nieces and nephews and dozens of great nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in passing by his sister Pauline Laverdiere, brothers Armand Lacombe and Paul Lacombe, grandson Maxamillian Lacombe, and nieces Jocelyn Pellitier and Lt. Col. Paula Lacombe and nephews Alan Lacombe and Stephen Lacombe.
Chuck was buried alongside his parents in Saint Ambrose Cemetery in Lincoln (Albion), RI. A scholarship in Chuck’s name has been established at the School of Fashion Design in Boston.
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To the family. This was a man who loved his family and community. He was a friend to and teacher to many.
I remember his kilts at the fashion show. My heart goes out to the family of a fellow Boston artist.