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Mary Jane Armstrong

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Mary Jane Armstrong Obituary
ARMSTRONG Mary Jane Armstrong, 86, of Jacksonville, Florida, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, passed away on January 13, 2012, after a long illness. She was born in Marshall, Texas, on March 24, 1925, the daughter of Dr. William Hobert Rickles and Mary Christine Rickles. She grew up in Marshall, Texas, with her parents and her brother, William Hobert Rickles, Jr. Beginning at an early age, Mary Jane's talents as a singer and pianist were recognized. She attended Christian College in Columbia, Missouri, and obtained a bachelor's degree in music from Southern Methodist University in 1944. Mary Jane married her high school sweetheart, Samuel Thomas Armstrong, Jr., in 1945. They recently celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary. As the wife of a Navy officer, Mary Jane lived in a number of cities. With each move she would enthusiastically share her musical talents, assisting in musical programs and church choirs at each new home. Mary Jane's musical contributions included serving as a soloist and choir member with church and community music programs, singing in the local Opera, and playing the piano and organ for various music programs. After her husband had heart surgery, Mary Jane's accomplishments continued to grow when she began a new career as a food editor. As she was trying to help her husband change to a healthier diet, Mary Jane discovered that there was a scarcity of low cholesterol recipes. When she brought this problem to the attention of the food editor for the Jacksonville Times Union, the food editor asked if Mary Jane would like to try her hand at writing a food column. Never one to back away from a challenge, Mary Jane began writing her Healthy Heart newspaper column, in which she shared recipes she had created or modified for low cholesterol diets. Her column, which she wrote over a period of fourteen years, became syndicated and was carried by a number of newspapers. Mary Jane continued to be involved with church choirs, and, after moving to Jacksonville in 1976, she sang in the choirs at Grace Episcopal Church and at San Jose Episcopal Church. Mary Jane is survived by her husband of 66 years, Captain Samuel T. Armstrong, USN (Ret), her daughter, Mary Karen Frey (Fred), her son, Samuel David Armstrong (Jody), her six grandchildren, Samuel Gregory Frey (Haley), John Daniel Frey, Stian Arneson Armstrong, Jennifer Claire Armstrong, Rebecca Leigh Armstrong, and Samuel David Armstrong, Jr., her brother, Dr. William Hobert Rickles, Jr., and cousins, niece, and nephews. She was preceded in death by her son, William Thomas Armstrong, PhD. A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m., on Tuesday, January 17, 2012, at San Jose Episcopal Church, 7423 San Jose Boulevard, Jacksonville, Florida, 32217. Her burial will be in Marshall, Texas, on a future date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the San Jose Episcopal Church music fund, or to the Community Hospice of Northeast Florida. HARDAGE-GIDDENS OAKLAWN CHAPEL, 4801 San Jose Blvd is serving the family. Please Sign the Guestbook @ Jacksonville.com
Published in the Florida Times-Union on Jan. 15, 2012
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