Armstrong, James Robert
Dr. James Robert (Jim) Armstrong, aged 84, passed away Friday November 10, 2023 at the Kroontje Health Care Center at Warm Hearth Village in Blacksburg, Virginia after a lingering illness. He was born January 25, 1939 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and spent his early years in Menasha, Wisconsin.
He graduated as Salutatorian from St. Norbert’s High School in DePere, Wisconsin near Green Bay, and although he excelled in English and explored interests in creative writing and poetry, went on to receive his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD in Electrical Engineering at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Before receiving his doctorate, he worked for AC Delco/General Motors, and as an engineer there worked on the development of the M1 Abrams battle tank and guidance systems for the NASA Apollo rocket program.
After receiving his PhD in 1975, Dr. Armstrong began a distinguished career as Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg Virginia that spanned three decades. He retired in 2005 and was granted the honor of Professor Emeritus, having published or co-published four books, advised to completion 49 masters and doctoral students, taught and developed numerous undergraduate and graduate level classes and was recognized as a leading researcher in integrated circuit and computer hardware design.
Dr. Armstrong was a loyal member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Blacksburg, a long-time member and past Grand Knight of the Fr. Edward Fox Council #6747 Knights of Columbus, and a long-time member of the church choir. Jim loved spending time with family, music, playing bridge and sheepshead, traveling abroad and throughout the US, golfing, skiing, and supporting Virginia Tech football. He was a devoted husband who met his wife Marie, a teacher in Milwaukee, through their common involvement in the Vagabond ski club, and they celebrated their 54thWedding Anniversary on June 29, 2023.
He is survived by his beloved wife Marie, his son Michael (Christine) and daughter Anne Marie (Kevin), older sister Ellen Carns, and grandchildren Claire, Abigail, Ben, Ellie and Ella.
The funeral mass will be held on Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 11:00AM at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Blacksburg with Fr. John Asare officiating. Burial will be in Westview Cemetery in Blacksburg. A reception at St. Mary’s will follow. A visitation will be held on Friday, November 17, 2023 from 4-6PM at McCoy Funeral Home in Blacksburg.