Robert W. Armstrong Jr. ’40

Robert W. Armstrong Jr. ’40 died on May 4, 2009, in Rockport, Maine at Penobscot Bay Medical Center.

He was born on January 1, 1919, in Winchester, Mass., and graduated from Winchester High School. At Bowdoin, he was a member of Theta Chi fraternity. He joined the Army in 1942 and was sent to Yale University to study Malay languages before being deployed to the Far East Theater as a member of Office of Strategic Services, where he attained the rank of technical sergeant. At the end of World War II, he started a mail order business, Friendship House, but took over the family business, Armstrong Knitting Mills, when his father died in 1952. He diversified the business and, with his brother John, founded Armstrong Laboratories, a pharmaceutical and specialties aerosol company. In 1964, the company merged with Aerosol Techniques, Incorporated; he remained president of the Armstrong Laboratories Division and was named vice president of the parent company in 1968. He began a very active retirement in 1979, involving himself in property development and financial management, traveling extensively with his wife and family, and supporting his local community – both in Winchester, where he lived most of his life, and in Friendship, Maine, where he moved after he retired. He was an avid sailor and gardener, and he enjoyed a good game of bridge or cribbage. Over the years, he served in a variety of public and community organizations. He was a selectman and member of the finance committee in Winchester; commodore and treasurer of the Winchester Boat Club; Boy Scout Cub Master; trustee of Crawford Methodist Church in Winchester; trustee and executive committee member of Winchester Hospital, and trustee and president at the Mt. Vernon Home for the Aged in Winchester. He was chairman of Northeast Health, the parent of Penobscot Bay Medical Center, and of the Conversation Committee in Friendship, as well as serving as chairman of the Friendship United Methodist Church finance committee. He was a charter member of Osprey Club, a charitable organization in support of Pen Bay Healthcare; a contributor to the Friendship Library, and he helped seed the Medomak Valley Land Trust. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Suzanne Burr Armstrong; three sons, Robert Weeks Armstrong III ’71, Jeffrey Burr Armstrong, and M. Peter Creighton Armstrong; a daughter, Barbara Coffin Armstrong ’86; nine grandchildren; a sister, Mary Cady; and a brother, John Armstrong. He was predeceased by two sisters, Priscilla Kennedy Ward and Ella Wales Wilder; and a granddaughter, Jenna.