Morton C. "Mort" Armstrong, 78, of Gerry, dedicated teacher, skilled craftsman, and devout church leader, passed to his eternal reward on November 13, 2012, at his home under the loving care of his wife Kathryn, following a long struggle with leukemia.
He was born on November 5, 1934, in a farm house in Randolph to Grove L. Armstrong, Sr. and Eva Reynolds Armstrong and graduated from Cattaraugus High School in 1953 while working on the family farm in East Otto. He then entered Roberts Wesleyan College, receiving his B.A. degree in English with honors in 1957.
While in college he met Kathryn Mae "Kay" Anderson and they were married in the Jamestown Free Methodist Church on August 31, 1957. Just two months later Mort was drafted into the United States Army where he served with the CIA for two years. Following his discharge in 1959 he taught English in Baltimore for a year before accepting a position in the English department at Cassadaga Valley High School, where he would remain until his retirement in 1990. He completed his studies for his Master's degree at Fredonia State in 1968. He was a highly respected teacher as evidenced by the messages he received from more than 100 of his former students during his illness.
Following his retirement from teaching Mort put his carpentry skills to full time use, building and remodeling homes for dozens of residents in the area, including a home for his son and a large addition to his own home. In his spare time he loved to play golf and was a member of the McDonald's Senior Golf Tour.
He was very involved in the Gerry Free Methodist Church where nearly every part of the church shows the effects of his carpentry skills. He served on the Official Board, the Board of Trustees, the Building Committee, the Pastor's Cabinet, taught Sunday School, was elected as delegate from the church to the Genesee Annual Conference for many years, sang in the choir, and was the tenor singer in the Valley Quartet. In addition, he served on the Executive Board of the Gerry Homes for 25 years, holding several different offices there. He was highly respected by all who knew him as a man of deep integrity.
Mort was preceded in death by his parents, and a son, Thomas E. Armstrong, in 2003. He is survived by Kay, his wife of 55 years; a son, Charles D. Armstrong and wife, Heather; two grandchildren, Galen and Hannah Armstrong of Etna, Maine; and a brother, Grove L. Armstrong, Jr., of Waxhaw, N.C.
A celebration of Morton's life will be held in the Gerry Free Methodist Church at 1:00 PM on Saturday, November 17. The family will receive friends in the church sanctuary on Friday from 4:00 - 7:00 and one hour prior to the service. Memorials may be made to the Gerry Free Methodist Church or Hospice of Chautauqua County.
Arrangements are by the Jordan Funeral Home in Sinclairville, NY.