John C. Armstrong

Sep 04, 2018
John Armstrong

Friendship — John Creighton Armstrong, 91, also of Falmouth, passed away Aug. 28, 2018, at his Friendship home.

John was born April 12, 1927, to Robert Weeks Armstrong and Edith Kissie Creighton Armstrong in Winchester, Mass. He grew up in Winchester, attending Winchester public schools, followed by a post-graduate year at Deerfield Academy. He went on to the Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. He excelled in mechanical classes, studying steam turbines, ships' systems and propulsion equipment. John was a natural boat handler. When a launch driver was needed to transport the admirals from boat to boat, he was the cadet of choice. After his service, John attended the University of Massachusetts.

A pioneer in the aerosol industry, John started and ran many successful businesses. Early on, John built a production line. The first product was Spray Solvo, which is much like a modern-day WD 40. That was the beginning of Armstrong Laboratories in the family mill in West Roxbury, Mass. He and his brother Bob grew the business for 10 years and sold the company in 1967. They both went to work for Aerosol Techniques Inc., where John was national sales manager.

In 1973, John started Pharmasol Corp. He was very proud of the growth and success of that company. John was instrumental in developing several inventions, which led to a dozen or more patents, including the Demand valve, which was used for helping asthmatic patients with dosing inhalers. He had a brilliant career and a sterling reputation as the "honest John" of the industry.

John was an avid lover of boats and of flying his Piper Cub airplane. He was a man who remained in his prime throughout every stage of his life. Even with a walker, he would refuse help and insist he was "spry" and ‘"ike a gazelle." He appreciated a strong handshake and a look in the eye. When asked how he was doing, his sincere response was always, "Never better." He was a true gentleman with an unparalleled wit, charm and style. He loved to laugh, and his zest for life would fill every room.

John and his family once enjoyed a menagerie of farm animals, some of whom might grace one of their many “Milton Hilton” parties. It wasn’t unusual for their guests to be entertained by Ringo, the family monkey, or to find Penny, the pony, standing in the living room!

It was clear that John’s greatest joy in life was being with his family. In recent years, he relished many family trips. Summers in Friendship were the center of the world to him. It was there that he created a perfect place for his family to vacation together.

He was a member of the Young Presidential Organization, Chemist Club, Ducks Unlimited, New Bedford Yacht Club, Wamsutta Club, Milton Hoosic Club, Eastern Yacht Club, and the Pickering Foundation.

He was predeceased by his wife, Barbara Pickering Armstrong.

John is survived by his sons, Richard Armstrong, and wife Ceilia of Westport, Mass., Jonathan Armstrong and wife Janne of Dartmouth, Mass.; daughters Edith Armstrong and husband Gary Lehy of Falmouth, Amy Armstrong of Friendship, Rebecca Armstrong Moore and husband Kenneth Moore of Southboro, Mass.; and 10 grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. at the Congregational Church of Dartmouth, 17 Middle St., Dartmouth, Mass., followed by a reception at the New Bedford Yacht Club, 208 Elm St., South Dartmouth, Mass.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John’s name to the Friendship Fire and Rescue, 25 Main St., Friendship, ME 04547 or to The Island Institute, P.O. Box 648, Rockland, ME 04841.

Arrangements are with Hall’s of Waldoboro. To extend online condolences, visit his book of memories at

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