Frank Willett Armstrong died May 16, 2019. A celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 25, 2019, at Gainesville First United Methodist Church. A reception will follow the service.
Frank was born in Savannah, Georgia, on August 22, 1940, to Frank Willett Armstrong and Fannie Martin Armstrong.
He grew up in Macon, Ga, graduated from Lanier High School, and attended Davidson College where he was a member of Kappa Alpha Order. He received his Juris Doctorate from Mercer University in 1964. The same year he married Carol Ann Alexander and began practicing law in Milledgeville, Georgia, until he was called into military service.
He served in the United States Navy as the legal officer of the Anti-Submarine Warfare School in San Diego, Calif., from 1966-1969.
Upon discharge from the Navy Frank moved to Gainesville, Georgia and began practicing law. He was a partner in Stewart, Melvin, and Frost until his retirement. He has served as president of the Gainesville-Northeastern Bar Association and on the Fitness Board appointed by the Supreme Court of Georgia.
In 2014 he received the Bar Association’s Kenyon Award recognizing his professionalism, his integrity, his excellence in the law, and his dedication to the public good.
Frank was an active member of the Gainesville First United Methodist Church. He served as Chairman of the Board and in various other leadership positions. He consistently encouraged the church to adopt an environmental ethic. He believed that our planet is a sacred part of our religion. He often taught Sunday School and was a member of the Crossties Class.
Frank believed in life-long learning, serving others, and reverence for the earth, and his life exemplified these things. In 2002 he enrolled in a University of Georgia graduate program in Environmental Ethics. He enjoyed debate with friends in the Palaver club. Even in failing health he continued to write papers, learn new ideas, and challenge old concepts.
Frank loved his community and was involved in many worthwhile projects. He was a founding board member of Eagle Ranch and helped obtain the property where it is located. Founder Eddie Staub says, “His counsel in the early years set the direction and mission for many years to come.”
Most recently Frank founded Jubilee Farm, a community garden for charity. This project has been very successful, distributing fresh produce to agencies and people in need.
Frank’s reverence for the earth was demonstrated by his planning of numerous Earth Day programs and his devotion to Elachee Nature Science Center. He served on the Elachee Board for thirty-five years, chaired capital campaigns, built trails, led hikes, presented astronomy programs, and did whatever was necessary to see Elachee grow into such a vibrant environmental educational center. Director Andrea Timpone refers to him as “the godfather of Elachee.”
Though Frank preferred to work behind the scenes, he was recognized by the community for his volunteerism. He received the Youth Service Award from the Kiwanis Club, Heart of Gold Award from The Times, the Rotary Club Man of the Year Award, and a Good Citizenship Award from the DAR.
Frank loved and enjoyed his family, especially his grandchildren. Frank is survived by his wife of 55 years, Carol Ann Alexander Armstrong, daughter Ann Elizabeth Armstrong (Robert Bell) Oxford,OH; son Will Armstrong (Ann Murphy Armstrong) Williamsburg,VA; grandchildren Susannah Armstrong, Kiefer Bell, Cal Armstrong, and Russell Bell; brother Hal Armstrong (Celeste)Charleston, SC; sister Susan Miller Salem, OR; sister Anza Armstrong (Jan Carter)Ripton,VT; sister-in-law Lillian Law Atlanta,GA; and a number of nieces and nephews.
The family is grateful to Northeast Georgia Hospice for the compassionate care he received at the end of his life.
Memorials to honor Frank’s memory should be made to Elachee Nature Science Center 2125 Elachee Drive Gainesville, Ga 30504 or Eagle Ranch P.O. Box 7200 Chestnut Mountain, Ga 30502.
Little & Davenport Funeral Home, GainesvillePublished in gainesvilletimes.com on May 18, 2019