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Frank Armstrong has strong roots here in Arizona. He was born in Yuma in January of 1936 and has made a lot of true friends and memories along the way. He was a believer in the importance of enjoying and appreciating life, and he designed his in a way that enabled him to live in happiness and camaraderie every day.
Frank was a true gentleman, and whole-heartedly enjoyed what he considered the real treasures in life: times spent with family, friends, good health, and the outdoors.
After graduating from North High in Phoenix, Frank attended the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University and graduated from Arizona State University.
He was an “Eminent Archon” in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, which held a special place in his heart; it built friendships and ideals that would continue throughout his life. He also remained an ASU fan and Sun Angel, enthusiastically supporting ASU sports and attending games.
Scottsdale School District was fortunate to have Frank as he began his career in education as a teacher and coach at Ingleside in 1959. He had an entrepreneurial spirit and in the early 1970s, Frank made a career move to the restaurant and bar business. He was an owner in many Phoenix area bar ventures including The Cottage, Instant Replay, Almost Out, My Mother Lives in Malibu, Harvey’s Wineburger, Calhoun’s, and finally the Dirty Drummer, named by combining Frank’s college nickname “Drummer” with his business partner’s, “Dirty Dave.” He also operated a range of independent businesses including Rim Bar Supplies.
He had a very active lifestyle and an unwavering commitment to health and fitness. Along with his wife and friends, he ran several marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 1977 and 1979.
He loved golfing with his friends and played in many tournaments over the years. He was well versed in natural medicine, loved fresh produce, and worked out nearly every day of his life.
He was sharp and knowledgeable in history and all current news and events — definitely a formidable debater.
Some of his other talents and hobbies included boating, video and photography, carpentry, good music, nature, and Miller Lite.
Although a world traveler, his heart remained close to Arizona. His favorite places included Lake Powell, the Colorado River, his cabin in Pine, and condo in Rocky Point.
Everyone who knew Frank had a best friend. He was fun-loving, charismatic, and shared his life generously and without bias. His quiet influence spoke volumes, could move mountains, and encourage and support friends and family.
He was never boastful and always comfortable in any situation. What a gift a good listener is in this day and age. He will be missed tremendously.
The great loves of his life were his wife of nearly 40 years, Suzanne; his son, Brent (Katie); and his daughter, Dana.
He was preceded in death by his father, Arizona star-athlete, Frank “Army” Armstrong; mother, Helen (Trammell) Armstrong; and brother, Ted Armstrong.
A celebration of Frank’s life will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday April 14 at his home in Scottsdale and continuing at 5 p.m. at the Dirty Drummer on 44th Street and Oak in Phoenix.