Scott Armstrong, 40, dies after valiant battle with cancerPublished 10:15pm Thursday, May 19, 2011
By JAN GRIFFEY/Editor
COLUMBIANA — Scott Armstrong, a beloved member of the Columbiana community, has passed away after a long and valiant battle with cancer.
Armstrong, 40 years and four months old and son of Donald and Virginia Armstrong of Four Mile, died early evening on Thursday, May 19. In addition to his parents, he is survived by a younger brother, Shane Armstrong.
Bolstered by many good, lifelong buddies, Armstrong battled acute myelogenous leukemia. He was diagnosed at age 34 and underwent a stem cell transplant at Duke University in 2008 at age 37. Following that transplant, Armstrong’s cancer went into remission and he was able to resume his very active life, which included his participation in Relay for Life, a volunteer activity he began six years before he was diagnosed with his disease.
In many ways, Scott’s battle was Columbiana’s battle. Many members of the community supported him in a variety of ways during his struggle.
“Hundreds of people cared about Scott every step of the way. Corley Ellis, Taryn Davis, Sharon Bentley, John and Carmen Denney…so many more,” said long-time friend Rux Bentley of Columbiana. “Scott was absolutely full of life. He was so much fun. I was amazed many times at the number of peoples’ lives he touched.”
Ellis, a friend of Armstrong’s since the two were young boys, nominated him for the American Cancer Society’s Life Inspiration Award in 2007. In doing so, Ellis wrote, “I know that there are well over 500,000 people diagnosed with cancer every year. I also know that all of them should be recognized for their courage and will to fight this dreaded disease. Scott, all of his life and even through some very tough circumstances, has shown such an inspiring love for life and love for people. He has spent his whole life overcoming obstacles. At the same time, he has touched many lives by keeping his head up and not ever acknowledging these obstacles. His will to live life to the fullest has always amazed me, and I found myself in awe sometimes as he fought his battle with and against cancer … The old saying, ‘To know him is to love him’ could not prove more true.”
Tonight, Ellis said, “My world has been a better place because I knew Scott Armstrong and will forever be a better place because of that fact. Scott loved people and they loved him. He will be sorely missed, but fondly remembered … Scott was the mortar that held so many friendships together.”
Armstrong gave his time and energy to a number of Columbiana and Shelby County groups and organizations. He attended the University of Alabama and while there was a proud member of its Million Dollar Marching Band.
Funeral arrangements are pending at Bolton Funeral Home in Columbiana. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Scott Armstrong Memorial Scholarship Fund at Bryant Bank, which will benefit Shelby County High School students.