September 16, 2021

Richard W. Armstrong

"Greetings and Palpitations!" Richard Wayne Armstrong was born January 12, 1945. He married the love of his life, Karen Ann Tabor, on July 5, 1969. He had two children, who were, according to Rick - his life's greatest achievements, Angela (Randy) Rose and Christopher (Jennifer) Armstrong; and four grandchildren, Julian and Andre Donato, and Molly and Bailey Armstrong. He is further survived by his siblings, Jerry (Mary Ann) Armstrong, Ann (Jim) Niemeier, and Elizabeth (Jerry Patrasso) Armstrong; brother-in-law, John Whalen; sister-in-law, Jeris Turner; nieces and nephews.

Rick was preceded in death by his parents, Max and Philomene (Gerard) Armstrong; and siblings, Sara Whalen and David Armstrong.

Rick's Celebration of Life was held from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., on Saturday, September 11, 2021, at the Becker-Beal Funeral Home, 109 Greenway Cross, Belleville, WI. Come celebrate "Rico, Dear ol' Dad, Pa, Baaka, or Padre" with us.

In lieu of flowers, please donate in his name to Brooklyn Wildlife Refuge or Agrace Hospice.

An online memorial with guestbook is available at

Rick was a life-long student. He knew a good bit about everything, especially astronomy, wood-working, physics, geography, and all the sciences. Rick was interested in many things - how things worked, the universe, telescopes, weather systems, and mechanics. Like MacGyver, he could fix or figure out almost anything. He loved maps. He was curious, an inventor, and discerning. To borrow his phrase, "He was a gentleman and a scholar." Rick was a thinker and always inquisitive.

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Rick loved the natural world and was knowledgeable about it. He loved going out west and visiting national parks. He hiked the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon, with his sweetheart of 52 years, Karen. He liked to go on hikes on the Ice Age Trail near his home. He loved birds and animals, especially kitties. When the kids were little, he took Angie and Chris on camping trips. They ate pork and beans from tin cans over the fire, and they would make s'mores. Rick would say "hold the marshmallow, hold the graham cracker."

Rick was a no BS communicator. A lot of what he said was quotable and summed up who he was, "You were wet before you were dry", "Can't fix stupid", and "I feel a loosening of the moorings". A lot of what he said was memorable - if not always popular.

Rick was passionately progressive, a historian of the family genealogy, and carried The Constitution of the United States in his glove box, in case he needed it. He loved freedom, and longed to fly his ultralight, although he couldn't fly a drone worth $#!t, and he lost several expensive ones on their virgin flights. Rick loved Jackson Browne and weeds and playing Euchre on Saturdays. He liked to play Five Crowns with his family, and usually won or lost big. A confirmed atheist, he often prayed in Latin over his cards. When he lost, he would often declare, "Poop upon you". And maybe, "Just Kiddin". He was also known to walk by us, put his hand on our heads, and say, "heal this little guy."

The large extended family of sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews have lots of happy memories of family weekends packed like sardines around the pool of the old house. They were good times for all. Rick was a baker and a great cook, and made the best waffles in the world, but made a disaster in the kitchen. About eating, another common Rickism was, "I'm a bigger machine, I need more fuel" or "Waste not. Want not." And, when requesting a napkin, he would say, "One for me, and one for my beard."

Rick loved his wife, his children, and his grandchildren, and was fiercely loyal to those he loved. He had a wonderful sense of humor. He enjoyed making faces and was a natural storyteller. Chris and Angie remember evenings long ago curled on his lap, reading "The World of Christopher Robin." Rick would bring the Hundred Acre Wood to life. He was kind and generous and made us laugh every day. A "B and a P", he would say to Karen, which stood for, "I love you a bushel and a peck". We will miss you dad. "Oh, for cryin' in the beer,'' Dad would say.

And then, he would say, "Enough!"


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