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Gombert remembered for ‘heart of gold’

Published January 10. 2020 11:30AM

Katie Kolensky of Beaver Meadows has a favorite memory of David Gombert, who was a family friend.

“He was a great guy, always willing to help people, and he would even watch my daughter for me,” Kolensky said. “She adored him.

“One day he had been watching her and brought her along when they picked me up from work,” she said. “He had taught her a song, and they were singing it together, singing it to me as I walked out.”

The song was “Take Your Time,” by Sam Hunt. Kolensky’s daughter was just 5 years old the last time she saw David Gombert, who had come to her birthday party. She still sings the song.

“She’s 9 now and she still talks about him all the time,” Kolensky said. “She wants to see him, and she cries because she still misses him so much.”

Gombert of Beaver Meadows, was 27 when he was killed by Eric Mumaw on Nov. 1, 2016. The son of Raymond and Colleen Gombert, he was a 2007 graduate of Hazleton Area High School where he participated in wrestling and lifting weights and was enrolled in the vocational program. He was an avid bowler for 20 years, competing in Las Vegas, Reno and other locations.

“He was an excellent bowler, I don’t know how many 300 games he had,” said Marylu Esposito, of Hazleton, a friend of the family. “He was also very handy and also wanting to help me around the house.”

“He was a big softhearted man who loved children and couldn’t wait to start a family,” she added. “He had a great love for life and a real goodness to him — he’d help with local benefits and if tickets weren’t sold, he’d buy them himself.”

At the time of his passing, Gombert was an employee of Edwards Distribution Services, Hazleton, where he was employed as a truck driver.

Owner Larry Edwards described Edwards Distribution as a small company, which sells and delivers office furniture. Gombert worked for him for about 3 years, he said.

“David was a really hard worker who drove the route to Baltimore and Washington, D.C., a stressful route to drive but he just took it in stride,” Edwards said. “He was a really nice man, and everybody liked him.”

“He was a big guy, but he was just a big teddy bear who would not hurt anybody,” he added. “He was working for us and going to night classes — he wasn’t sure what he wanted to be, but he wanted to better himself.”

Gombert attended LCCC and graduated from McCann School of Business and Technology with an associate degree in business administration.

“They (Mumaw’s defense team) painted a picture of a big mean person, but nothing could be further from the truth,” Edwards said. “He was a good guy who had a lot of friends, who will always miss him — we miss him.”

Beaver Meadows Police Chief Mike Morresi described the Gombert family as “wonderful, tight-knit” and said that he could count on David Gombert to assist him whenever needed. Gombert, with his friendliness, strength and easy manner around people, was a great help on the occasions when a resident needed help.

“Whenever I needed a lift assist, I would just call him, he had a way about him that put people at ease,” Morresi said. “He was an absolutely good person, a gentle giant with a heart of gold.”

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