Charles Ward Armstrong
The Grim Reaper overtook Charles Ward Armstrong on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, at home and he departed this world pretty much as he entered it — thin hair and in need of physical assistance.
Born in a farmhouse during the Great Depression to Charlie E. and Dorothy E. (Varner) Armstrong at Payette, Idaho, he grew up in Boise, Idaho, surrounded by a large family. At the age of 10 his family encouraged him to experiment with home-made radio sets beginning with a crystal set and scavenging for antenna wire and insulators. At age 14, he passed the federal examination for amateur radio operator and operated W7NEU, which required more wire, vacuum tubes and parts.
Armstrong met his wife-to-be in the fourth grade and together they were graduated from
Boise High School, Boise State University, and University of Idaho. They were married for 68 years beginning on Aug. 5, 1953, and lived several years on the Eastern Seaboard before moving to Bozeman, Montana, where Armstrong was granted a masters degree and taught electrical engineering at Montana State University. While at MSU he pioneered the development of measurement devices which translate physical movement, temperature, etc., into electrical signals. The devices, called transducers, are used in practically every industry where physical measurements are needed.
Armstrong applied transducer technology first to the 1961 Yellowstone grizzly bear study by installing collars containing radio transmitters on grizzlies in order for biologists to track grizzly migration and gather physiological data. He later applied transducers to the mining industry until the 1970s when the Armstrongs moved to Delta County and declared this area their home. Armstrong was a Registered Professional Engineer, Master Electrician, and electrical contractor. He co-authored a dozen text books for instrumentation technicians.
Armstrong was preceded in death by three younger sisters and his parents and is survived by five children: Howard (Cheryl) Armstrong, Lori (Kent) Austin, Grem (Robin) Armstrong, Joni (Michael) Reeves, and Milan (Patti) Armstrong; 20 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.
Mr. Armstrong requested there be no contributions, no services, no memorials, no wakes, nor any other activity which might cause a dip in the productivity of Delta County. A celebration of life will be June 20, 2021, at their home from 2 – 6 p.m.