2010-05-15 / Marketplace / Obituaries

David Armour

David Armour David Armour David A. Armour of Grove City, Pennsylvania, historian, author, and former administrator for the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, succumbed to cancer April 28, 2010, at the age of 72.

He was the son of Arthur and Marian Bowie Armour of Grove City and attended school there. He received a bachelor's degree from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1959, and his master's and doctorate degrees in history from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.

He taught at the University of Wisconsin for four years before serving 36 years as deputy director for Mackinac State Historic Parks under the Mackinac Island State Park Commission. During this time, he restored or reconstructed more than 40 historic buildings, authored seven books, wrote more than 60 articles, wrote numerous book reviews, and obtained and administered more than $7,000,000 in grants. Following his retirement, the visitor center at Historic Mill Creek State Park was named in his honor.

“I had the distinct pleasure of working with Dave for 31 years,” said Phil Porter, director of Mackinac State Historic Parks (MSHP). “With Director Dr. Eugene Petersen, Dave laid the foundation for the MSHP restoration, exhibition, interpretation, publication, land protection, and archaeology programs. His impact on Mackinac State Historic Parks will be appreciated for many generations to come. Dave was a joy to work with and his deep faith and sincere dedication inspired all who were fortunate enough to be in his company.”

Marian Petersen, Dr. Petersen's wife and administrative assistant for many years at Fort Mackinac, said Dr. Armour very much deserved the honor he received at Mill Creek, a culmination of his long service to the parks.

“Dave first became interested in Mackinac when he was at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee,” she said. “Dave came up to work at Michilimackinac during the summer for several years, got settled there, and when it came to having an assistant, he was the ideal person, since he had been there long enough to be acquainted with things and was interested.”

Dr. Armour received numerous professional honors, including the President?fs Award for Distinguished Service to Museums from the Michigan Museum Association given to him upon his retirement, and consulted on numerous restoration projects.

He also taught Colonial American History at Calvin College and Grove City College.

He served on the vestry at Trinity Episcopal Church on Mackinac Island. He had a love for the Hmong Christian Ministry at Grand Ledge and Lansing. He was an elder at River Terrace Church in East Lansing and later at Covenant CRC in Grand Ledge. On Mackinac Island, he worked with college students and Jamaican workers in their worship services.

Pastor Glen Bulgin expressed his sentiments to the family and friends.

“On behalf of the Jamaican Church on Mackinac Island, we extend to you all our deepest sympathy on the passing of our dear beloved friend, confidant, and brother,” he said. “Dr. Armour was an icon, one who left his footprints on Mackinac Island and shared his love with the Jamaican people.

“We met Dr. Armour 20 Years ago when we started the Jamaican Church at Ste. Anne's. He was always there with us and for us. He was very dedicated. Whether rain, snow, or sunshine, he would be present, and always ready to share the word of God. We will miss those broad smiles and warm embraces.”

The Armours moved back to Grove City in 2004 where he taught at Grove City College, taught History to homeschooled neighborhood children, and English to foreign exchange students.

Surviving are his wife of 50 years, Grace, and four children and their families, Marian Armour-Gemmen and Randall Gemmen and their children, Angelyn and Ellena, of Morgantown, West Virginia; Arthur Armour and Rebecca Lew and their children, Samuel and John, of Portland, Oregon; David Armour and Joanna Tong and their children, David, Keith, and Michael, of Bellevue, Washington; Anneke and Matthew Myers of Mackinac Island.

His family also includes two sisters and a brother, Nancy and Doug Johnson of Davidsonville, Maryland, Tom and Lois Armour of Grove City, Maryann and Al Fearon of Bolivar, Ohio, his in-laws, Alice and Bill Heese of Akron, Ohio, Ed (deceased) and Jan Lootsma of Mystic, Connecticut, Els (deceased) and Gys Kooy of Mahwah, New Jersey, Henry and Grace Lootsma of North Haledon, New Jersey, the late Wayne Lootsma, Ann and John Barr of Bridgewater, Virginia, and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation was at the family home, 432 West Washington Boulevard, Grove City, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, May 2, with a memorial service Monday, May 3, at 5:30 p.m. at Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

A memorial service was held Wednesday, May 5, at 4 p.m. River Terrace Church in East Lansing.

A memorial service at Fort Mackinac and interment will be on Mackinac Island Friday, June 18, with a burial service at the Mackinac Island Cemetery at 6 p.m., followed by a reception at Fort Mackinac at 7:30 p.m. and a memorial program at 8 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church (for outreach), 140 East Poplar Street, Grove City, PA 16127; Hmong Christian Ministry, 3400 Wainwright Avenue, Lansing, MI 48911, or Mackinac Associates (for Mill Creek), P. O. Box 567, Mackinaw City, MI 49701.

Arrangements are made by Cunningham Funeral Home, Grove City.

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2010-05-15 digital edition