Augusta Armstrong passed away peacefully Thursday afternoon, October 10, 2019, at the Linden Woods Village. She was born May 17, 1920 at the family farm home in rural Canadian County, Oklahoma, to Anna and Dietrich Leck. Her parents were immigrants from German. After Augustus was born, the doctor said, “I think there are more,” and shortly after her identical twin sister, Margaret was born. The twins were small. Each was placed in a shoebox and then placed on the open oven door of the cooking stove and fed oatmeal gruel. They were the first born of 9 children. German was always spoken in the home and the twins did not know English when they started first grade in the country school. But they had cousins who were bilingual and helped them to adjust and learn English.
Life on the farm involved much hard work. Augusta and Margaret began milking cows when they were five years old and continued milking morning and night till they graduated from high school. There were 20 cows and each girl milked 10. In addition to milking they helped with the gardening and cooking for the expanding family. Augusta said that they barely existed.
After the family had a car, they attended the German speaking Mennonite church in Geary, Oklahoma. She was baptized as a teenager into the Mennonite church.
After 8th grade she attended high school in Geary, Oklahoma riding a school bus 10 miles to and from school. She was still responsible for her share of the milking and feeding the cows morning and night. Augusta graduated in the spring of 1938. Her father sold a cow to pay tuition to Hills Business College in Oklahoma City for she and her sister. But they dropped out after 7 months and went back home because Margaret was unhappy and their father would not let Augusta be alone in the big city.
Augusta started working for other families in the area making $3 a week. She worked as a nanny and helped with housework and farm chores. When she was 20 years old, she went to work for Nettie and Howard Armstrong. Their middle son, Ray, began to take notice of her and that led to romance. Augusta and Ray were married on September 14, 1941 in an outdoor wedding on the steps of the R.L.D.S. country church in Lanesville. Before their marriage they attended a church reunion and she was baptized in a farm pond into the Reorganized Christ of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, known today as Community of Christ.
Augusta and Ray then moved to the Armstrong farm in Perkins, Oklahoma. They needed more income so Ray went to work at the Ford Tractor dealership in Stillwater. Augusta was left to do most of the farm work. They raised cotton and wheat, chickens and pigs. Augusta would pick the cotton by hand crawling on her hands and knees pulling a large bag which held the picked cotton.
In 1949 they decided to move to Missouri and open a tractor dealership of their own. They operated Armstrong Tractor and Implement Company for 26 years. Augusta was active in the business greeting customers and doing all of the accounting and bookwork for the business. She even sold a tractor once on the 4th of July.
They quickly became involved in the Liberty community and church.
She served as treasurer of the Village of Glenaire from 1952 to 1970.
Augusta was an accomplished cook and baker. She volunteered many years cooking for church camps and reunions. She was known for her yeast breads and cinnamon rolls. She loved to entertain and many friends enjoyed her parties.
She also loved to garden and grow vegetables and flowers. She belonged to the Dirtdobbers Garden Club till they all grew too old to garden anymore.
She began volunteering at the Liberty hospital shortly after it opened in 1975 and continued to volunteer for 41 years giving 28,806 hours of service in many areas of the hospital.
She felt it was important to honor our history and was a member of the Clay County Historical Society and Bingham Wagoner Estate Historical group.
Augusta was ordained a Priest and later an Elder in the Community of Christ church. Although she never preached a sermon, she lived her life sharing God’s love with others.
She and Ray were able to travel extensively and she visited every continent except Antarctica. After retirement they bought a 5th-wheel trailer and wintered In Yuma, Arizona. She would often proudly say that she had crossed the “pond” 12 times.
Augusta is survived by two daughters, Donna Bogue (Ron) of Kearney, and Kathleen Bennett (Tom) of Independence; four grandchildren, Kim Enriquez of Kansas City, Brian Bogue (Pat) of Kearney, Sherrie Buckley of Mullingar, Ireland, and Debra Bennett of Arlington, Virginia; four great grandchildren, Nick Bogue of Kearney, Anthony Enriquez of Kansas City, Anamarie Enriquez of Wichita, Kansas, and Kate Bogue of Kansas City; sisters, Margaret Stoner of Reno, Nevada, Pearl Craven of Blackwell, Oklahoma, and Mary Burkhead (Howard) of Calumet, Oklahoma; and brother, Robert Leck (Kathleen) of Geary, Oklahoma.
Preceeding her in death were her husband of 57 years, Ray, her parents, and brothers, Gerhardt Leck, Richard Leck and Bill Leck.
A child of immigrants raised during the great depression; an identical twin and oldest of 9 siblings; a spouse for 56 years; a parent of 2, grandparent, of 4 and a great-grandparent of 4; a successful business owner; an active citizen in the community; an expert gardener and flower arranger; a well-known talented cook and baker; a dedicated, generous and recognized volunteer; an avid traveler; a deeply religious person and an involved member of her church. She lived a long and beautiful life. She will be greatly missed by many.
Funeral service will be held on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at the Liberty Community of Christ Church, 1220 West Liberty Drive, Liberty, Missouri. Visitation begins at 9:30 a.m. with the service at 11:00 a.m.
The family requests memorial donations to the Liberty Hospital Foundation or Outreach International.
Arrangements in care of Fry-Bross & Spidle Funeral Home, Kearney.
Our Sincere Condolences
Sending prayers and hugs to all of the family of Augusta. Augusta was a beautiful lady and such a lovely person to get to know. I feel honored to have gotten to know this wonderful lady. She was such an inspiration to so many. She always came into the shop with a warm smile and was friends to all. She did make the best homemade rolls and cinnamon rolls that would melt into your mouth! She will be deeply missed, but I know she is in a wonderful place. I will always hold dear the memories of her. Blessing to all of you.
Connie Mae Davidson
I first met Augusta (in my early 20s directing youth camps) when she was in charge of food service at Lake Doniphan. The volunteers who worked in her kitchen were happy, dedicated and well-trained. The meals were delicious, and part of that was because of the atmosphere Augusta carried with her. She taught me about the positive impact the kitchen can make on the entire camping experience. Later, for over a decade we’d meet at the Liberty Post Office. Each time was a treat! Acts 10:38 speaks of Jesus “going about doing good.” That is my abiding memory of Augusta.
Roger A Revell