Mary Irene Davidson Armstrong passed away in her sleep Wednesday, June 6, 2012, in Gig Harbor, Wash. Irene was born Dec. 22, 1918, in Oil Trough, Ark., to Pherba Isabelle (Nolan) and Jesse Lee Davidson.
A legendary love story was born the day Irene rode her mule past a field where E. Walker Armstrong was chopping (hoeing) cotton. It continued in its earthly form for over 73 years, when Walker preceded Irene in death and continues in Spiritual form in Heaven where she joined him Wednesday. He proceeded her in death by two years.
Irene and Walker lived in Phoenix, Ariz., Manila and Ash Flat, Ark., before settling with their young family in Wenatchee, Wash. Irene reared five children, was quite active in her community with the PTA, Boy Scouts, Campfire Girls and sold Stanley Home Products in her spare time. When the family moved to Ephrata, Wash., in 1959, Walker worked for the Great Northern Railroad and Irene managed the cafeteria in the Bureau of Reclamation building. In addition, she took the opportunity to start a small catering business, where she prepared lunch for Rotarians in the Ephrata Recreation Center, and catered various events around Grant County.
Irene truly enjoyed being involved with her community. She was an active member of the Ephrata Methodist Church, the Ephrata chapter of Eastern Star and the Ephrata Senior Center. Irene and Walker loved to dance and their Saturday evenings were often spent at the Senior Center dances. She generously shared her love of garage sales with all her friends and family and after retirement, she managed estate sales in the Ephrata area to benefit the Senior Center. Irene was passionate about helping others and volunteered at the local food bank as well as the literacy program where she listened to many Ephrata children work on their reading skills. She was a warm, caring, and generous person filled with energy that she shared with all those around her.
Many times, Irene stated if she had known how much traveling she was going to get to do, she would have paid more attention in geography class. Irene and Walker frequently traveled around the United States for months at a time in their Airstream trailer. They visited family and friends, attended Rock Hound Powwow events and would dig up rocks to take to those events. Although Irene was injured terribly in two separate automobile accidents, she fought her way back with grit and determination. She still managed to stay active and energetic. Irene was best known and remembered for always having a new joke, greeting you with a big smile and remembering your name. She was loved deeply by her family and friends for her kind and generous ways and will be greatly missed.
She was preceded in death by her husband, E. Walker Armstrong, two sisters, four brothers and son, Dr. Walker G. Armstrong.
Survivors include Tom Armstrong and wife Jan; John Armstrong and wife Donna; Janet Bjork and husband Bill; Mary Armstrong and husband David Grubbs; 14 grandchildren; 26 great grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.
Service will be announced at a later date.