Who Was John Combe From ‘Home Town’? What Happened to Erin and Ben Napier’s Client
Home Town viewers enjoy seeing Erin and Ben Napier change lives with their incredible renovations. In February 2020, the pair embarked on an unforgettable project for their client John Combe in an episode titled “The Sky’s the Limit.” Just a few months later, Erin made a devastating announcement about her friend. Scroll below for details on what happened to John after the show.
Who Was John Combe From ‘Home Town’?
During the history-making episode, Erin and Ben tackled their biggest home improvement project yet. John gave them an unlimited budget to transform The Walters House, a historic home that housed its previous residents for more than 30 years. The three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath property was built in the ‘50s and was listed for $199,000.
John was already thrilled with the property and could not wait to see the final product. Prior to moving to Laurel, Mississippi, the travel enthusiast had been living in Belize for 10 years.
“I’m tired of big, big cities, and I fell in love with the town of Laurel. It’s just a place where I can come and relax and enjoy life,” he shared during the episode. “Money is not a problem for me — the sky’s the limit.”
The graphic designer and the woodworker put their skills to the test to add several custom elements to the spacious abode. Erin enlisted the help of some of the students in her drawing class to create artwork to hang on the walls. Ben used the original banister from the staircase to craft a custom pool cue rack.
“I hope that John comes in tomorrow and he is completely shocked that this is where he gets to live,” the mom of two, who shares kids Helen and Mae with Ben, shared during the episode while putting the finishing touches on the house.
Immediately when John saw the final product of the home, he thought it was “gorgeous” and “fantastic.” Erin and Ben nailed the Spanish Colonial vibe they were going for. “I feel like I’m in heaven,” the retiree said when he stepped out into the backyard. At the end of the episode, Erin presented John with a drawing of his new home with “The Combe House” written underneath it.
What Happened to John Combe After ‘Home Town’?
Two months after the episode aired on HGTV, Erin announced in an Instagram post that John had died at the age of 70.
“Though we only had the pleasure of knowing him for a few short months, we are heartbroken to tell you that our friend Mr. John Combe from one of our favorite episodes of all time passed away on April 4 here in Laurel,” she wrote. “He squeezed every last drop out of life, and I’m honored we got to help make his last earthly home such a special one. Even the biggest, most generous hearts don’t beat forever, and his will be so missed.”
Before his death, Erin shared a little more about John’s story on the Laurel Mercantile Co. blog in February 2020.
“My life has been and is incredible,” he reflected. “Always been lucky. My pop spent 30 years in the U.S. Air Force. During the first 18 years of my life, we moved seven times, so I still have the itch. Pop was incredible. He taught me a lot about life, right, wrong, and truth!”