RONALD ARMSTRONG, 69 of Big Springs, former longtime Brule resident, passed away Thursday, March 16, 2017 at University of Colorado Hospital in Denver, CO.
Ron was born February 26, 1948 at Ogallala, Nebraska to Ernie and Leona (Harms) Armstrong. He graduated from Brule High School in 1966 and went on to graduate from Kearney State College.
Ron taught school for a few years in Hershey before returning to the Brule area to farm with his dad. On August 14, 1984, Ron married Betty Zastrow at St. John's Lutheran Church in Brule. The couple made their home on the family farm and their union was blessed with 2 daughters, Val and Vicky. Ron enjoyed living on the farm until November of 2016, when he transitioned to living in Big Springs.
Ron loved farming, and he used the farm experience as an opportunity to employ many of the young men of the area, most of whom ended up adopting Ron as their mentor. Ron was a gregarious jokester. He made fast friends and had a knack for making people smile. His lightheartedness was easy to recognize and made him very approachable. Ron loved attending cattle sales and shows whether he was in the market to buy or not, it was a social event. He loved telling a good story, and was known to add an embellishment or two on occasion. Ron and Betty were blessed to have had the opportunity to travel extensively together, having visited all of the 48 contiguous United States in just 4 years. They made many great memories throughout their travels, the bulk of which will be recalled with fondness and the occasional chuckle. Ron had a special place in his heart for his dog, Cocoa, and his grand dog, Brendahl. He was dedicated to his family, and rarely, if ever, missed a chance to support his girls in their endeavors. From helping Vicky with FFA activities to attending the collegiate volleyball games that Valerie coached, Ron made the effort to be there for his children, even into their adulthood.
Ron was a member of the St. John's Lutheran Church in Brule. He had belonged to the Flatlanders Car Club, where he enjoyed showing his beloved '36 Chevy. Ron was a longtime member of the Brule Lions Club, where he'd served as President, as well as the Nebraska Angus Association. He also sang in the Cowboy Capital Chorus for several years.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents.
Survivors include his wife, who he often playfully referred to as his "current wife," Betty Armstrong of Big Springs; 2 daughters, Val Armstrong of Binghamton, NY, Vicky Armstrong of Maywood; aunt, Valera (Donald) Parke of Northglenn, CO; along with many cousins and friends.
A memorial has been established in Ron's memory for later designation. Condolences may be shared at prairiehillsfuneralhome.com, where the service will be streamed live for those unable to attend.
Services will be Friday, March 24, 2017 at 10am at St. John's Lutheran Church in Brule, NE with Pastor Jon Dickmander officiating. Burial will be in the Brule Cemetery.
Visitation will be Thursday from 1pm to 7pm with the family present from 4pm to 6pm at Prairie Hills Funeral Home in Ogallala, NE.
Prairie Hills Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.