Bill Armstrong – March 16, 1937 – July 5, 2016
Former U.S. Sen. Bill Armstrong, a resident of Cherry Hills Village and president of Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, lost his five-year battle with cancer on July 5, 2016. He was 79.
Armstrong, a onetime broadcaster and newspaper owner, was a major figure in the Colorado Republican Party who helped usher in the policies of President Reagan and a new generation of Republican leadership before entering yet another career in Christian education.
Armstrong was credited for bringing attention to the federal deficit during Reagan’s tenure. He was appointed by the president to the National Commission on Social Security Reform.
Armstrong had served as president of CCU since 2006. During his tenure, the school reached records in enrollment while raising ACT scores. He was at the helm of CCU as the American Council of Trustees repeatedly ranked the school in the top 2 percent of colleges nationally.
Armstrong was a long-time Colorado businessman who joined the university after owning and operating more than a dozen companies. He was chairman of Denver-based Oppenheimer Funds.
Born in Fremont, Neb. on March 16, 1937, Armstrong began working in radio after attending Tulane University in New Orleans and the University of Minnesota. He was a lieutenant in the Army National Guard.
At 23, Armstrong was elected to the Colorado State House of Representatives and served 1963-1964. He served in the state Senate (1965-1972), U.S. House of Representatives (1973-1978) and U S. Senate (1979-1990).
He was on the board of Christian Businessmen’s Committee USA and Campus Crusade for Christ.
Bill Armstrong served in the U.S. Senate 1974-1990.
Armstrong is survived by Ellen, his wife of 54 years, his daughter Annie, son Will, daughter-in law Kristy, eight grandchildren, four granddaughters-in-law and Tina, “the world’s greatest dog.”
Funeral service will be held at Cherry Hills Community Church, 3900 Grace Blvd. in Highlands Ranch on Friday, July 15 at 10:30 a.m. Visitation was scheduled for July 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Shari Williams, president of Leadership Program of the Rockies, says Armstrong changed the trajectory of her life and inspired what was taught in the program as a defender of capitalism who unabashedly celebrated innovation, competition, free markets and entrepreneurship.
Williams said Armstrong “had kindness, reasonableness, intellect, good humor, modesty, conviction, courage, determination, faith and optimism. He spoke with the remarkable voice of the radio announcer he once was, captivating you with every statement. Armstrong was informed by a towering intellect and a passionate conviction.”
In 2013, Armstrong received LPR’s Legacy Award at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman said, “When public officials leave office, they often disappear and are never heard from again, but Sen. Armstrong had a passion for fighting for conservative causes that started from the day when he was first elected to office in 1962 to his final days at Colorado Christian University.”
Sen. Cory Gardner said, “Our nation lost a great public servant whose mark on Colorado and this country embodies the virtues of liberty, faith and family. His booming voice, piercing gaze and love of fellow patriots will never be forgotten. So many people in Colorado were brought to conservative ideas and optimism through Sen. Armstrong. The United States is a better place because of his grace, humility and boundless spirit.”
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