Rachel F. Armstrong obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Rachel F. Armstrong

February 9, 1930 - August 9, 2017

Obituary


Rachel Armstrong, 87

FALMOUTH - Rachel Armstrong, 87, strong civic leader and greater Portland advocate, died Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, surrounded by her family and dedicated caregivers.

Rachel was born in Lancaster, Pa., on Feb. 9, 1930, to Rachel and Douglas W. Franck.

Rachel graduated from the Garrison Forest School in Baltimore, Md., in 1948. She excelled in sports and was president of her graduating class. Rachel graduated from Pine Manor College, Wellesley, Mass., in 1950, and was president of the student body before going on to further study at the Child...

Rachel Armstrong, 87

FALMOUTH - Rachel Armstrong, 87, strong civic leader and greater Portland advocate, died Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, surrounded by her family and dedicated caregivers.

Rachel was born in Lancaster, Pa., on Feb. 9, 1930, to Rachel and Douglas W. Franck.

Rachel graduated from the Garrison Forest School in Baltimore, Md., in 1948. She excelled in sports and was president of her graduating class. Rachel graduated from Pine Manor College, Wellesley, Mass., in 1950, and was president of the student body before going on to further study at the Child Education Foundation in NYC.

Rachel married Thomas M. Armstrong Sr., of Lancaster, on Nov. 23, 1951, living first in Durham and Concord, N.H., before moving to Saco in 1955, then to Falmouth in 1960.

Rachel focused most of her life's work on a mixture of dedication to family and acting on her drive to help the greater Portland (Maine) and Squam Lakes, N.H., communities. She was a consummate planner and organizer in both her family life and in her civic involvement.

Rachel's love and devotedness to family and friends were her greatest joys. The importance of relationships was always present. She often invited those she wished to get to know to sit with her at a meal and regularly raised a glass at gatherings to celebrate how lucky she felt to be with those present. Her sense of humor was always evident in games and outings where she loved to be surrounded by laughter.

Ever the sharp competitor, she loved tennis, had a rocket serve and a wicked slice. She was a good sport and always game for adventures, whether it was astride a horse out West, a local hike or camping on safari in Africa.

Rachel loved making dish gardens with her grandchildren when they were young, and she and Tom rarely missed a sporting or cultural event their grandchildren participated in as they grew up.

Rachel's interests in community were extensive and diverse. She was the first woman to be elected a director of the Maine National Bank of Portland (suffering heavy cigar smoke while adding her considerable savvy advice to the bank's operations).

Rachel was passionate about supporting and growing a thriving arts community in Portland for over 50 years.

Later in life, she focused her attention on the Maine Coast and Squam Lakes conservation work, community leadership and development.

Her ability to frame and solve strategic issues with clear and direct communications was her hallmark. She thoroughly enjoyed working with and had great respect for the many dedicated and talented people who shared her desire to engage in the communities in which she lived.

Rachel's passion for Maine and the Portland community was demonstrated through her work with many non-profit organizations, including as trustee and president of the Portland Symphony Orchestra, trustee and president of Portland Museum of Art during its major expansion of the Payson Wing in the 1980s, trustee of the Maine Community Foundation, trustee of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Debra Morton Society member of Westbrook College (now University of New England), served on the Maine Humanities Council, a founder of the Board Network, trustee of the Institute for Civic Leadership (now Lift 360), a founding trustee of the Piper Shores Retirement Community, and trustee of the Squam Lakes Conservation Society in New Hampshire, where she was a summer resident for most of her lifetime.

Rachel is survived by her husband of 66 years, Tom Armstrong Sr.; daughter, Anne Armstrong Cram, and husband Jim; son, C.D. Armstrong, and wife Betts; son, Tom Armstrong Jr., and wife Liz; daughter, Virginia Armstrong; her grandchildren: Nathaniel Cram and wife Abigail; Rachel Halliday and husband Kyle; Emilie Brewer and husband Dan; and Katherine, Philip, Laura and Alexandra Armstrong; and great-grandchildren, Annie and Ben Halliday; and Thaxter Cram.

Rachel and her family are most grateful for the loyal friendship and care from Lorette Romboletti, Kate Parkerson, Kelly and Mary Coyne, Amy Newberg, Lori Dubois and Dawn Kay. In addition, the family appreciates the care and good services of the Avita of Stroudwater staff, Ocean View Retirement Community in Falmouth, Compassus Hospice and Home Instead Senior Care Agency.

A memorial service for Rachel is scheduled for 11 a.m., Sept. 1, at the Falmouth Congregational Church, 267 Falmouth Rd., Falmouth.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions
to honor Rachel may be made to:
The Portland Symphony Orchestra
50 Monument Square, 2nd Floor
Portland, ME 04101
OR
Squam Lakes Conservation Society
Box 696
Holderness, NH 03245




Arrangements under the direction of Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home, Portland, ME.