Charline Hamblin McCombs
San Antonio Civic Leader and Philanthropist
Charline Hamblin McCombs, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother passed away peacefully on Thursday, December 12, 2019. Charline leaves a tremendous legacy in Texas through her leadership and charitable support of education, research, and community health.
Born October 17, 1928, Charline met the love of her life, Red McCombs, in the registration line at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, and they were married three years later in 1950. Theirs was a beautiful partnership based on love, respect, and faith that never wavered in their 69 beautiful and full years together.
Charline and Red are known throughout San Antonio and the state of Texas for their generous hearts and enriching philanthropy. Charline will be forever remembered for her personal style of warmth, caring, and giving.
The Charline McCombs Empire Theatre is one of the state’s premier performing arts facilities, named in her honor after a $1 million gift to support the restoration of the Majestic and Empire Theatres. She loved the performing arts, and in particular loved supporting the Las Casas Foundation.
The University of Texas softball stadium is named Red and Charline McCombs Field in honor of her gift, the single largest donation to women’s athletics at the time. She is also the namesake of KLRN’s Charline McCombs Media Center, Southwestern University’s Charline Hamblin McCombs Residential Center and Red and Charline McCombs Campus Center, and MD Anderson’s Red and Charline McCombs Institute for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer.
Charline’s outreach was not limited to education and the arts, as sports and her beloved teams and players were an important part of her life. She developed personal relationships with individual players and their families that lasted well beyond her time owning those sports teams, from the San Antonio Spurs to the Denver Nuggets to the Minnesota Vikings.
Through the McCombs Foundation, Charline donated over $135 million to San Antonio and Texas organizations. She was particularly proud of her work with Girl Scouts of South Texas, McNay Art Museum, and Las Casas Foundation, to name a few.
Charline’s bright smile, sparkling eyes, and warm hugs will be lovingly remembered by her husband and their three daughters, eight grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.