Raymond Joseph Armstrong, 87, passed away peacefully with his family by his side at home in Westport, on Thursday, February 21, after a 5-year battle with prostate cancer. He was predeceased by his wife, Joyce McGuire Armstrong in 1951; his wife of 49 years, Maureen Kiely Armstrong in 2003; as well as sisters: Ann Helene Whelan, Hope Sharman and Norma Lodge. He leaves behind his grieving children: James R. Armstrong and his wife, Gail of Jacksonville, FL, Terry Armstrong of Brighton, MA, Sean Armstrong of Westport, Siobhan Armstrong of New York, NY, Dan Armstrong of Braintree, MA and Kerry Armstrong Cheney and her husband, Andrew of Washington DC; three grandchildren: Charlee Armstrong, Alison Cheney and Vivian Armstrong; his partner of ten years, Regina Brauer, also of Westport; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Raymond was born on June 23, 1925 in Providence, RI in his family home on Academy Avenue, to the late Anna Josephine and Joseph Raymond Armstrong. After their deaths in his youth, he was raised by his aunt and uncle, the late May and James Armstrong, also of Providence. He was a graduate of Classical High School in Providence (1942), Brown University (1946) and the Harvard Business School (1953).
After attending OCS at Northwestern University, Raymond served as a Lieutenant in the Pacific Theater and participated in the liberation of the Philippine Islands.
Raymond was employed by General Electric Company for five years before receiving his MBA, and briefly taught Advertising at Harvard Business School before joining Owens Corning Fiberglass, where he was Advertising Manager. In 1960, he moved to Starwood Corporation, a small Manhattan investment concern formed by Julius Rosenwald, the philanthropist and President of Sears Roebuck and Company. Raymond was named President of Starwood in 1970, where he managed assets for the Rosenwald family, notable individuals and pension funds.
In 1981, he was selected by President Ronald Reagan to manage the Presidential Blind Trust during his term in the White House. At the time, an article in the New York Times stated: "Financial experts describe Mr. Armstrong, the 55 year old president of Starwood Corporation, as an adept trader with a good sense of the market, a keen ability to judge companies and a calm, analytical approach."
He later went on to become President of Geneve Corporation, a diversified industrial and financial holding company he helped to form in Greenwich, and Armstrong Shaw Associates, an investment advisory firm he founded and where he served as Chairman and CEO of Armstrong Shaw until he retired in 1996.
A resident of Westport for over 60 years, Raymond was an avid tennis, golf and bridge player, a founding member of possibly Westport's oldest book club and an enthusiastic traveler. Always appreciative of a good story and teller of many, he made friends from all walks of life. His appreciation for fine dining made him well known in restaurants all over the country and beyond, many of whom have lost their best customer.
More than anything, Raymond loved his friends and family. A man whose tireless generosity and grace touched the lives of many, he was self effacing and compassionate to a fault, a warm and joyful soul whose loss will be sorely felt in lives of many near and far for years to come.
Friends and family may call at the Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home 50 Reef Rd. in Fairfield Center on Friday, March 1 from 5pm to 8pm. A Mass of Christian Burial at St. Luke's Church in Westport will be held on Saturday, March 2 at 11am directly, followed by interment at Assumption Cemetery with Military Honors.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or www.dana-farber.org/gift. To send an online condolence, please visit
Published in StamfordAdvocate from Feb. 27 to Mar. 1, 2013