On Wed, October 20th, 2021 Vern Armstrong formerly of Watson Lake, recently of Whitehorse took his first breath in heaven, a place he prepared for when he was 19 years of age. He was 92 when he arrived. Meeting Jesus was what he lived for, and to see his wife of over 40 years and other loved ones would have made for the best day of his life!
Born to Violet and Herbert (Harry) Armstrong on the farm at Bowsman River, Vern was the first of thirteen children living in Swan River until he was 65 years of age. Vern’s life forever changed in 1948 when he accepted Christ’s gift of forgiveness of sin at a revival meeting in Swan River. On February 1, 1950 Vern married Edith Leggett, and began building a life together. He built his first house for his new bride out beside River Road, that house still stands today. It cost him one thousand dollars which of course was alot of money at the time. He was very proud of this accomplishtment and rightly so.
Soon the sound of little feet and laughter filled the home as along came Brian, Ruth, Trish and Shari. Vern and Edith enjoyed children opening their home, giving love and guidance to at least 150 children all the years they lived on River Road. Eventually, in 1978 Vern purchased what is now called “The Harley House” from his mom and dad and moved into town.
Vern’s career as the Co-op Lumber Manager brought him great enjoyment . In the late 60’s Vern saw a need for ready to move homes, convincing the Co-op board of the day this would add good value to the members and provide steady employment for tradesmen. It was a very successful division of the Co-op and Vern would proudly show off “his houses” when touring guests around Swan River. He retired from the Co-op in the late 80’s, thinking he and Edith would spend their retirement years volunteering at Bible camp, fishing, camping, hunting and maybe golfing, but the Lord had other plans. Northern Canada Evangelical Mission where his daughter Ruth is a missionary had need of his skills and willingness to serve, so Vern and Edith began their mission work, travelling to build projects wherever needed. It was while they were in New Brunswick building a 40’ by 60’ conference centre (without a blueprint I might add) that it was discovered Edith had cancer, and following surgery they returned home to Swan where Edith left for heaven in 1993.
Vern spent the next few years adjusting to the single life, during which he continued to volunteer with NCEM yet found time to help his son build a beautiful house at Prince George. During one of his volunteering stints, Vern married Cynthia Merriman, who was also a missionary with NCEM. Thus began a whole new adventure for Vern as he fit into her career as a registered nurse, moving first to LaRonge and eventually to Watson Lake, Yukon. Vern continued to volunteer for NCEM helping missionaries with building projects and eventually in Watson Lake helping with Hidden Lakes Bible Camp. He had a lovely workshop that Len Goertzen drove all the way from Swan River to the Yukon to help him build, and it was out of that shop he blessed home owners, the church, the Bible camp, the school, the hospital and many others with his skills and abilities. He was always ready when called upon to help anyone with projects. Having a big house and yard to upkeep eventually became burdensome so in 2016 the Armstrongs moved to a seniors apartment in Whitehorse. Vern and Cynthia celebrated 26 years of wonderful adventures together.
Left missing his presence in this world is his wife Cynthia, son Brian Armstrong (Maxine), daughters Ruth Armstrong, Trish Auger (Farrell) Shari Armstrong, 8 grandchildren: Scott (Cheryl) Armstrong, Melodie (Alex) Dunning, Elyssa Tanner (Brad Morin) Amie Tanner, Anthony Tanner (Courtney Charles), Timothy Armstrong, Samantha Sayies,Ryley Armstrong and loved like grandchildren Nadia and Elisapi; Fourteen great grand children Kayla, Alex,Joshua,Sarah, Logan, Nathaniel, Natalia, Neveah, Lilah, Lucas, Leito, Caleb, Everett, and Lake: Siblings Edward Armstrong (Joanne) Lorne Armstrong, Bruce Armstrong, Evelyn Yufrym, Isobel Kushniryk (Bill) Darlene Church (Norm) Doris Terrien: numerous nieces and nephews: his in-laws and outlaws on Cynthia’s side, Allyson (Henry) Brown, Bonnie (Pat) Mahoney, David (Judy) Merriman, Veronica Merriman, Grant (Lynnette) Merriman and Margaret (Jeff) Simpson and all their kids will miss Uncle Vern.
He was predeceased by his parents, Edith (1993) grandson Jarred (2012),an infant sibling and his 3 sisters Edna, Bernice and Judy.