VAN NUYS, CA - Born October 30, 1951, Bill Armstrong passed away at his home on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at age 59, after a year-long battle with liver cancer. He was born in Amarillo, TX, though at age seven, he and his parents moved to Carmel, California, where he resided until his early 20s. While in Carmel Bill learned to play the piano from his mother, the trombone from his father, and in school the trumpet and guitar. He played with several local musicians, and was a member of many great local bands. In his early 20s he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music. Through the 70s, 80s, and 90s he established his name in Los Angeles as a sizzling trumpeter, a mesmerizing keyboardist, and even a one-man band at times. He began to write and arrange music and many times was a band leader, but he always said his best gig was when he was hired to play in the horn section of the Eagles. If you knew Bill Armstrong he was by all means a musical genius but you would never know it by his humble, gentle, yet comical personality. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Edwin and Oleta Armstrong; sister, Shannon Bristow; and son, Joshua Widenhofer. He is survived by his wife, Ellen Brant of Carmel; daughter-in-law, Kristin Greenman; granddaughters, Patience and Grace Widenhofer of Nashville, MI; brother, Edwin Armstrong of Amarillo; sister, Katherine Armstrong of Cincinnati, OH; cousins and many wonderful friends all over the globe. There will be a memorial service held in honor of Bill in Los Angeles on August 23, 2010 at 3:00 p.m. at the Salem Lutheran Church, 1211 N. Brand Blvd. in Glendale, CA 91202.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
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MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
Always up, cool and a passionate musician. Have fond memories of the band "California" in Monterey when managed by Alex. Sorry I didn't follow career more closely.
February 17, 2011
billy i returned to the usa after tweenty years you and pam weston were the ones that i tried to contact. i saw the eagles concert i cried like a baby. patrick smith
December 25, 2010
Man, you looked so much like my dad, Wavy James, son of Floyd James (your 1st cousin). I heard so many great things about you from the cousins. Music must run in the family. Thank you for your spirit, for your presence on this earth...meet you on the other side, bro!!!
September 18, 2010
These borrowed words truly reflect how I felt about working with Bill - It was an honor & a privilege.
September 16, 2010
Bill was one of a handful of players that could create an infectious fire in a band. His solos had spirit, joy and passion. Never a dull moment. Thanks for creating memories that live on. Every time I hear "Children of Sanchez" I think of you tearing into that solo at LACC with Woody James. God bless you.
August 16, 2010
We spent many years together as friends with many happy memories in our young adults lives. There were lots of laughs, music and good times that we shared. Bill is always in our thoughts, but especially now. Our deepest sympathy to you and your family.
Dennis & Sheila Deis
August 14, 2010
NEVER KNEW YOU, "MUSIC BROTHER", BUT MONTEREY MUSICIANS SPEAK WONDERFUL OF YOU, AND THAT'S GOOD ENOUGH...
August 11, 2010
Bill....you touched my life in a most wonderful way. The time I had working with you in California was some of the happiest moments of my 35 year career in the music industry. Play on, my brother may you rest in everlasting peace and harmony.