MISSOULA — Karen Gayle (Burroughs) Armstrong departed her earthly world Jan. 2, 2019, at Village Health Care. She was born Feb. 21, 1941, to Walter and Elvina (Pfutzenreuter) Burroughs on a farm near Frederick, South Dakota.
Her paternal grandfather nicknamed her “Skip” as a newborn. Many people never knew her real name, and sometimes she didn’t answer to Karen. Raised on a farm, she always had a pet kitty or dog. She joined the “Sod Busters” 4H club, reared several steers, and then showed and sold them at the Brown County Fair. During elementary school, she attended a one-room country school, just as her parents did. She started high school in Frederick. In 1956, her family moved to Missoula, and continued her education at Hellgate High School.
In 1958 she married Eugene Armstrong. Four children were born to the union. She also mothered stepchildren Laura and Eddie Gene, as well as other children needing care. The family settled in Alberton, in the 1970s. The couple later divorced.
Skip worked as a waitress in several restaurants in Alberton, the longest at the Nine Mile House. She often charmed her family and customers with a bit of sharp wit. Upon hearing someone complain about a headache, she responded: “What’s the matter — your halo too tight?” (a sister’s remembrance). Her crocheting hobby yielded many treasured Christmas decorations, doll clothes, and doilies. She had a special fondness for her pet Dachshunds, Sam and Kela, and always had treats for visiting dogs.
Skip was preceded in death by her parents; stepson, Eddie Gene Armstrong; and daughter-in-law, Angie Armstrong. She is survived by her children, Richard Armstrong, Cindy Guadio (Mike), Elizabeth Ulmer (Rod), and Mark Armstrong; grandchildren, Dawn, Amber, and Amanda Armstrong, Nic and Tony Gaudio, and Jake Ulmer; great-grandchildren Josh and Hannah; sister Nona Babcock (Darrel Fite), and brother Bevan Burroughs (Jeanne); nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A memorial service will be held in the springtime. The family suggests memorial gifts be sent to Missoula Aging’s Meals on Wheel program, or a charity of your choice.
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