Allan Robert Armstrong (83) was born June 14, 1932, in Medford, Mass. He died at home on July 31, 2015, surrounded by his family.
He attended grammar school at Maldin Catholic in Medford, Mass., and attended Boston College and Law School. He fought a year-long battle with small cell lung cancer. His goal was the family reunion in Lake Geneva, Wis., scheduled for Aug. 1-8, and he nearly made it. Allan had started the family reunions 35 years ago and planned them for every five years in a different place around the country, with the fifth one at his home in Pagosa Springs. One hundred people — plus or minus a few — attended each one.
Life was a joy to Allan and he never let the truth stand in the way of a good story. “Do you want the fact or do you want a good story?” He found humor in nearly every moment, even under the most difficult of circumstances. His first wife, Susan Oliver, died at the age of 44 of a malignant brain tumor, leaving him with three small children to raise. When he had them safely on their adult ways, he took a second wife, Jeanette Tirico Bean. The marriage took place 30 years ago in the beautiful Ashford Castle, in Cong, Ireland.
He enjoyed a variety of occupations in his lifetime. Upon graduation from college, he hitchhiked out to southern California where he took a job as personnel manager at Lockheed in San Diego. He eventually ended up working as a stock broker with Merrill Lynch in Santa Ana, Calif. Following that career, he owned a drip irrigation company, representing The Rainbird Corp. in the Southland. He installed many of the irrigation systems for golf courses, wineries and avocado and citrus groves in that area. When his first wife passed away, he went home to raise his three children and filled his spare time with a new company, Armstrong Sweeping. He was a remarkable man who was able to roll with the punches and make the best of every situation.
His final joy was building his own log home with his wife, Jeanette, at the beautiful Alpine Lakes Ranch in Pagosa Springs. His final years here were the culmination of a life’s dream.
Allan is survived by his children, Chris Armstrong, M.D. (Kim), of Eagan, Minn.; Alison Armstrong (Nick Banning), of Santa Monica, Calif.; Timothy Armstrong, of San Francisco, Calif.; and his stepchildren, Victoria MacBain, of Santa Ana, Calif.; and S. Hillary Bean (Erik Slater) of Seward, Alaska. Gregory Larkin Bean succeeded him in death. Also surviving him are his grandchildren: Jackie Baldwin-Armstrong, Cristina Bean, Jackson MacBain, Robert Bean, Rowan Bean, two brothers (John and William Armstrong) and two sisters (Jeanne Treanor and Denyse Thornton).
A funeral mass will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 12, at 10 a.m. at Saint John Paul II Catholic Church, with a reception following at the home at 228 Blue Spruce Drive, Pagosa Springs. A memorial mass will be celebrated in Orange, Calif., later in the month.