Robert Russell Armstrong

May 11, 1947 – July 24, 2020

ST. ALBANS: Russell passed away at his home, in St. Albans, surrounded by his family after a brief struggle with cancer. In a testament to his spirit, he kept his optimism, kindness, and sense of humor throughout his illness and final days.

Son of William and Georgia Armstrong of Bennington, VT, Russell was born in Brooklyn NY, the youngest of five. The family spent summers in Wilmington, VT where Russell reveled in the freedom of the small town. After moving to Montpelier, VT, and graduating from high school, he attended  Tri-State Normal College in Indiana. Following military service in the U.S. Navy, Russell moved back to Vermont to start a family and a long career at GE Defense in Burlington. He retired to St Albans with his wife Debra.

Russell absolutely loved being in nature and passed his love of Vermont’s outdoors to his children through their many adventures of camping, skiing, hiking, golfing, and boating. An avid stargazer, Russ could always find a moment to view and ponder the stars. He was very kind and generous, was an amazing storyteller, and will be remembered for making friends wherever he went.

Russell and family owe the last 27 years to the generosity of a liver donation. None of us can stress the deep appreciation we feel for the donation process and those willing to pass on the gift of life.

Russell is survived by his wife Debra Ladd-Armstrong, daughters Catherine (Mimi) Ladd (Richard Matheson) of Barre, VT and Leslie Graefe (Sam) of Shelburne, VT, son David Armstrong (Kerry) of Milton, VT, sister Jackie Martin of Danby, VT, and brother John Armstrong of Montpelier, VT. His three grandchildren Jack, Isla, and Leah brought endless joy to his life.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the visitation and funeral services must be small and private. 

To honor Russ’s life, donations may be made to Green Mountain Club or VT State Parks.

To send Russ’s family a message of condolence or share a memory, kindly go to his online guestbook at