Born: May 23, 1919
Died: December 16, 2011
Raymond F. (Ray) Armstrong, 92, of Destin, Florida died Friday, December 16, at 8:15 a.m. at his home with his daughters, sons-in law, and caregivers at his bedside.
He was born May 23, 1919 in Paris, Tenn., the son of John Matthew and Connie May (McDaniel) Armstrong. Mr. Armstrong felt blessed to marry Elaine (Corners) Armstrong on October 5, 1940 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Together they enjoyed a rich life raising two daughters, working together, p[laying bridge, dancing, traveling the country, and enjoying family and friends. His beloved Elaine preceded him in death on April 2, 1984.
He was blessed again to later share his life with Shirley Alcorn. They spend 22 years of happy times together her death on February 16, 2006.
Mr. Armstrong proudly served his country as an infantryman in the 45th Infantry serving in World War II. He sustained injuries after crossing the Rhine River in Germany during his service and was awarded the Purple Heart.
Mr. Armstrong was a long-time resident of Centralia and owned several businesses in Centralia and Wamac. He was best known for owning and operating The Butcher Shop in Wamac from 1965 until his retirement in 1977. He frequently referred to himself as “a professional bologna slicer”.
In 2009, Mr. Armstrong was granted the privilege of receiving and Honor Flight from the Emerald Coast Chapter of the Honor Flight Network. Its mission is to send America’s Veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.
He is survived by a loving family that includes daughters, Donna Blaes and her husband Dale of Marissa, and Sandy Johnson and her husband Don of Irvington; grandchildren Amber Zonneveld and her husband Jim of Spraks, Nev., Shane Tolley and wife Melinda of Erie, Penn., Heather Tolley-Bauer and husband Craig Bauer of Middletown, Conn., Tristan Tolley of Phoenix, Ariz., Nicholas Freeman of Chicago, Taylor Freeman of Chicago, Brian Johnson and wife Laura Abrahams of Chicago, and Mark Johnson and wife Ashley of Centralia; and ten-great grandchildren. He is also survived by four step-grandchildren ; Roger Blaes, Larry Blaes, Lisa Glaeser, Steve Blaes, and families of the Belleville area.
He regarded as his children Craig Alcorn and wife Kathy of Irvington, Kristy Garner and Bob Gordon of Centralia, Scott Alcorn and wife Kelly of Centralia, Marsha Alcorn of Palm Harbor, Fla., and as his grandchildren Daniel Alcorn, Brooks Alcorn, Tammy Sadler, Rich Deadmond, Meegan Luttrell, Michael Garland, Jake Dunbar, Kelsey, Chase, and Chloe Alcormn along with 11 great-grandchildren.
He is also survived by his dar friends and caregivers Better Ann Harting of Alma, IL., David Marett, Sheri Bigner and husband Chuck of the Destin, FL area.
Mr. Armstrong was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Pauline Reed, Grandmother Dell McDaniel and Steve Alcorn.
He was an avid bridge player and a member of the Destin Duplicate Bridge Club and the Fort Walton Beach Duplicate Bridge Club. He loved to read. He was a member of the American Legion, Life Member of the VFW, and a lifelong Member of the Elks Club.
He was considered by all who knew him a true gentleman who always had an easy smile, and, as he would tell you, he had a joke or story for any occasion.
The family wishes to thank Covenant Hospice of Niceville, FL. and People’s Home Health of Crestview, FL for their compassionate and excellent care.
Funeral services for Mr. Armstrong will be held on Friday, December 23 at 11 a.m. with visitation on December 22 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Sutherland-Garnier Funeral Home in Centralia. Burial will take place at Hillcrest Memorial Park with Military Rites at the grave.
Memorial may be made to The Honor Flight Network or the charity of the donor’s choice and will be received at the funeral home.