Myron LeRoy Armour, 87, of Smithland, passed away on Friday, February 24, 2017, at his residence, surrounded by his family, following a determined fight.
Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 3 at Smithland United Methodist Church. The Rev. Karen Handke will officiate. Military rites will be conducted at the church by the American Legion Leslie F. Seaton Post 666 of Smithland.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 2, with a prayer service & musical celebration at 7 p.m., at Westwood Community High School Auditorium in Sloan, Iowa. Arrangements are under the direction of Armstrong-Van Houten Funeral Home in Mapleton, Iowa. Condolences may be sent online to www.armstrongfuneral.com.
Myron was born on Jan. 5, 1930, to Irene and Lawrence Armour, of Dakota City. His father died when Myron was six, leaving him and his brother, Dean, to face the harshness of life on a small farm in the middle of the Great Depression.
He graduated from Allen (Nebraska) Consolidated High School in 1948, and he went on to receive his Bachelor’s degree in 1952 from Wayne State College. He later received his MBA from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado.
Myron married Ardith Roberts in 1951. She was his high school sweetheart, and lived on a farm up over the hill. They celebrated 65 years of marriage, usually found holding hands.
Myron enlisted in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954 and saw significant combat duty serving his country in the Korean War.
He taught music for one year in Hartington, Nebraska. In 1955, they moved to Smithland, where Myron was the vocal music director for Smithland High School.
When Westwood High School consolidated, Myron was the vocal music director for 28 years, totaling 33 years of teaching music. He was innovative, being one of the first to bring swing choir into being with The Rebelaires. The music department put on many big musicals, including “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Oklahoma” and “The Mikado.”
He also conducted the Hallelujah Chorus for 50 years, and he was invited back by music director Tom Gerking as guest conductor for 25 years.
He spent most summers working as a carpenter, helping to build many houses in the area.
After retiring in 1989, Myron worked part time for his sons’ contracting business, sang barbershop music, and he and Ardith began the tradition of driving the motor home south in the winter to visit old friends. They also bought and sold antiques for many years.
Myron modeled the tradition of service to the town of Smithland, acting as Cub Scout leader, town council member and choir director for their church. He was an active member of the American Legion Post and Masonic Lodge.
He is survived by his wife, Ardith (Roberts) Armour; five children: Laurie Olander (Don) of Camas, Oregon; Michael (Beverly) of Omaha, Gregory (Chris) of Omaha; Tamara Scheelhaase (Kirk) of Moville, Iowa; and Scot of Lincoln, Neb.; 11 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and a brother, Dean of Smithland.
The family is requesting that in lieu of flowers, any memorials be made payable to Westwood Vocal Music Department in Sloan.