Obituary - Thomas D. Armstrong
Last updated 9/3/2021 at 12:14pm
Thomas D. Armstrong, 77, passed away peacefully August 6th, 2020, at his Florence. Oregon home.
Tom was born Nov. 18, 1942, in Havre, MT, to Dorothy (Baumgartel) and Fredrick Armstrong.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, his older brother Bernard and his younger brother Steve.
After graduating from Havre High School, Class of ‘61, he attended Northern Montana College until his enlistment in the Navy where he completed Boot Camp at Naval Training Center, Great Lakes.
On May 9, 1964, Tom married his high school sweetheart, Sharon (nee Jasmine — HCHS Class of ‘62) in Seattle, WA, where she was a student at Seattle University. Following a brief honeymoon, Tom flew to Pensacola, FL, where he completed “A” school as a communications technician (CT) followed by orders to Naval Security Group, NAVCOMMSTA Sidi Yahia, Morocco, where his bride joined him for the next three years.
In 1967, as a member of an operational group on a special SIGINT/COMINT mission, he received a letter and a citation for outstanding performance from the Chief of Naval Operations.
Upon military discharge in 1968, they made their home in San Francisco, CA, where Tom worked for Pacific Telephone and graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA degree using his GI Bill. Deciding his wife’s dual federal and military career offered more advancement than his own at the time, he supported her IRS and Coast Guard Reserve relocations to Seattle, WA; Philadelphia, PA; and Washington, D.C.
In 1991 Tom was recruited by the National Security Agency, completed Federal Law Enforcement Training Center courses in Glynco, GA, and was certified as a federal protective officer based out of Fort. Meade, MD.
He retired from NSA in October 2000, bought a 38’ diesel pusher motor home and spent the next 10 years traveling full time. In 2010, Tom and his wife built their “forever home” in the Fawn Ridge East development of Florence, OR, where he also served as HOA president for one term.
Tom was also a member of Elks Lodge 1858, and a “happy camper” with the Rolling Elks RV Club. One of his favorite pastimes was joining fellow military veterans in the Band of Brothers coffee group where he often regaled his tablemates with one of his endless jokes. Tom was notorious for breaking into boisterous laughter midway, and forgetting the punch line! Tom will long be remembered for his larger than life personality and his infectious laughter.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to one’s own favorite charity or your local Elks in memory of Thomas D. Armstrong, funds to be used for any military veteran-related program.