William John Armstrong, Sr., 93, passed away Sunday, February 4,

William John Armstrong, Sr., 93, of St. Joseph, MI passed away Sunday, February 4, 2018 at Caretel Inns of Lakeland. A lifelong resident of the Benton Harbor / St. Joseph area, Bill was born in Benton Harbor on December 6, 1924, to Fred and Anna (Schairer) Armstong. Bill graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1942. His senior year he was Mayor of the Student Council and President of the National Honor Society. Bill was also a stand-out basketball player being named to the Southwestern Michigan All-Conference team and quarterback on the football team receiving All-State honorable mention.

Bill proudly served his country in the Unites States Army from July, 1943 to January 1946. After training he was sent to the pacific theater where he fought on Leyte, leading to the emancipation of the Philippines and in the battle for Okinawa where he was evacuated due to his wounds. Upon discharge, he was awarded a Purple Heart and received decorations and citations including the Asiatic Pacific Theater ribbon with two bronze battle stars and the Philippine liberation ribbon with two bronze battle stars.

After returning from the war, Bill attended Lake Michigan College followed by the University of Michigan – School of Dentistry. While attending the University of Michigan he began dating Dolores Domke of St. Joseph who became his wife on July 26, 1947. Upon graduating in 1952, he worked for a brief time in Ann Arbor before opening his first office in Benton Harbor. Shortly afterward he moved his practice to Coloma. Bill returned to the University of Michigan in the 1970’s where he taught at the school of dentistry while working toward a doctorate in restorative dentistry which he was awarded in 1976. He continued to operate his practice in Coloma until retiring in 1998 after 44 years of service.    

Bill’s interests included building projects, boating, hunting and fishing. He also enjoyed in-line skating, skiing and long-distance running and biking.

Bill is survived by three children, Gail Hellner, John Armstrong and Thomas Armstrong and seven grandchildren. He was preceded by his parents; wife, Dolores; sisters, Margaret and Florine and brother, Robert.

A private burial will be scheduled at a later date. Arrangements entrusted to Starks and Menchinger Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services – 269-556-9450. Those wishing to send a condolence or sign the guest book online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.

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