In Memory to Dr. Armstrong

Write up by Mark Wagner
In Memory
Dr. Robert F. Armstrong
July 22, 1938 – June 17, 2014
Los Gatos, California 

The SJAA and amateur astronomy have lost a dear friend with the passing of Dr. Robert Armstrong.  It was an unexpected and sad loss for all who knew him, and the many who benefited from his quiet generosity.

Robert was known to many simply as Dr. A.  He had a keen love for astronomy, regularly taking his 20″ telescope to Fremont Peak, was a fixture each year at the CalStar dark sky star party, and traveled the world to experience numerous  total solar eclipses.  He served on the SJAA Board of Directors for many years, handling the officer duties of Treasurer.  Always gentle, kind and positive, he embodied the club as an open and welcoming organization, supporting and promoting new ideas for making amateur astronomy more accessible to the public, and members of the SJAA.

Professionally, Dr. Armstrong was an infectious diseases specialist, practicing in Los Gatos.  Several members of the SJAA, and their families, owe their lives and those of their family members to Dr. A’s expertise and advice.  All who knew him saw his deep caring for people, in how he connected on a very personal and human level.

Dr. A. had a fine, quiet, and playful sense of humor, and a great understanding of human nature.  Never heard raising his voice in anger, he was one of those people, who are really few, who could always be counted on.  Robert set a great example for all.

With the SJAA, his dreams were for the club to have a first rate solar telescope, and to acquire land at a dark site so amateur astronomers could have a place of their own to enjoy their hobby.  He recently helped guide the club in acquiring a wonderful solar telescope which now is used monthly for public viewing.  It is an appropriate legacy he leaves the SJAA, as none shined so brightly as Dr. A, at the SJAA.

Dr. Armstrong will long be missed by the SJAA, his friends, and those whose lives he touched.

Astronomical observer for 20 years and optical engineer. I design non-imaging prism and reflector optics for commercial, medical and high-end retail lighting.

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3 comments on “In Memory to Dr. Armstrong
  1. Marilyn M. Foley says:

    For Dr. Robert Armstrong, M.D.
    My esteemed physician, my understanding confidant, and my treasured friend, I offer you this quotation:
    “And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath of its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?” ~ Kahlil Gibran from “The Prophet.”
    I won’t know which is you, up among the stars you loved, but until I cease breathing, I will be stargazing, knowing that you are there.
    Marilyn M. Foley

  2. Dr Ali Kashani says:

    I am so saddened by the news of your departure from this mortal trip. You saved my life in 1996 I never forget your dedication and caring at my bed side ,

    You are always in my mind and May God rests your soul Your name and legacy will be always present

    Dr Ali Kashani

  3. Kimberly says:

    Oh Dr Armstrong. I am so saddened to learn of your passing. You saved my sons life in 2000 after he had been sick for several months and no other Dr knew what was wrong with him. You would come see us late at night or early in the morning before your rounds at good Sam. That meant so much to me.

    I wanted to send you some pictures and update on him. I just Googled your name and learned that you are no longer with us.

    My son is thriving! He has a full ride football scholarship to college and he is ALIVE because of YOU!

    God bless you!