After a long struggle with cancer, Barbara J. Armstrong, of Excelsior Springs, passed peacefully from this life on the evening of July 25, 2022. She was proceeded in death by her husband and soulmate, Harold Armstrong, also of Excelsior Springs.
Barbara Strobel was born on March 26, 1949, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to Arthur Strobel and Ina Jean (Murphy) Strobel. Most of her early life was spent growing up with her family in various small towns in Southeast Missouri. Her father was a high school science teacher who taught at these towns and Barbara grew up attending a number of different elementary schools. In 1963 he became a Physics instructor at the Junior College in Joplin, Missouri, and the family settled there. Barbara graduated in 1967 from Joplin High School and later attended Missouri Southern College in Joplin where she obtained a Biology and teaching degree.
Barbara’s chosen profession was teaching, and she began her career teaching science at Diamond, Missouri. In 1973 she accepted a position teaching life sciences at Excelsior Springs Middle School. Over her career she taught a large portion of the young people in the community and finally retired in 2001. Barbara was exceptionally competitive and helped develop and guide the Excelsior Springs Science Olympiad teams to extraordinary success, both statewide and nationally. During these times she developed many friendships among teachers and administration and also students after they had moved on to adulthood. Barbara would often joke that she knew all the young adults (35 to 60 years old) in town because they had been a student at one time. These friends were a great support to her in the later years of her life, particularly after Harold’s passing and especially during her illness with cancer.
In 1981, Barbara married her husband, Harold E. Armstrong. They both were interested in nature and history and spent much of their free time in associated activities. Barbara was an extremely good cook and took particular pride in baking pies. The couple spent a good portion of their retirement traveling and enjoying life. Of particular enjoyment to her was participating in the living history Arrow Rock Fall Craft Festival. In Arrow Rock, Barbara developed many long-lasting friendships.
After Harold’s death in 2011, Barbara took up rug hooking and spent many hours developing and honing her abilities. Over time she became quite skillful and created many beautiful rugs that were works of art. This brought her great enjoyment and satisfaction.
Barbara was proceeded in death by her husband and her parents.
She is survived by a brother, Forrest Strobel and his wife, Carol of Rolla, Missouri. Also surviving are nephews, Matthew Strobel of Atlanta, Georgia, Luke Strobel of New York City and his wife, Safiyya.
Cremation and arrangements are through Bross & Spidle Funeral Home of Excelsior Springs. A memorial and celebration of life service is being planned for October in Arrow Rock, Missouri.
Arrangements in care of Bross & Spidle Funeral Home, Excelsior Springs.