American Veteran 04

Donald Paul Armstrong

November 12, 1938 ~ March 9, 2024 (age 85) 85 Years Old
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Donald Armstrong Obituary

Donald Paul Armstrong, was 85 years old when he passed away on Saturday, March 9, 2024 at Holland Community Hospital, after a brief illness resulting from a heart condition. Don was born on November 12, 1938, in Crookston, Minnesota, the first son born to Frank and Alma (Magsam) Armstrong.

Donny grew up on the family farm and took on many responsibilities at an early age. As a mentor to his younger siblings, he not only taught them the responsibilities of the farm, but he may also have stirred up a bit of trouble with them too. He finished his education at Lincoln High School in Thief River Falls, MN, and continued on to serve our country in the United States Army.

Don’s professional career took him far and wide across the great states of the United States, 48 states to be exact. He began as an inspector for the United States Department of Agriculture and moved on to The Kroger Co. for many years as a Produce Buyer, managing many states. Marrying his knowledge as a farmer and the lessons he learned as a buyer, Don decided to strike out on his own. He created Armstrong Produce Company, and it was a great success. Don was proud to claim the fact he serviced the Campbell Soup Company for over 47 years as one of their lead suppliers.

Work hard, play harder was a phrase he was familiar with. Don spent many a weekend on the water maneuvering the shores of western Michigan, not least to mention the time he spent on The Bandit. He was so happy when a boat full of friends, or even strangers, were packed on the boat having fun. The fun didn’t stop with boats…he had many, many fun and fancy cars to tour around Western Michigan or North Florida where he often worked in the spring. And on those fun drives, via boat or car, there was most likely a cold gin martini to be enjoyed pretty darn close.

As happy as he was hosting people on the boat, Don couldn’t be more thrilled when he could reach out to his community and help, both in his boyhood home and in Grand Haven. He was blessed with contacts and knowledge of the produce business and was able to arrange food giveaways in both towns for many years with the help of his wife, Vera.

Don was a wonderful father to his daughters and their multiple friends in many states to which they called him, “Papa Don.” He was also a role model and friend to Vera’s sons and went on to be the best Grandpa to five grandchildren.

Don had a deep fondness for his many friends and neighbors (two and four legged), and the members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #925, the Elks Lodge #1200, and the American Legion Charles A. Conklin Post #28.

Life will be different for Don’s loving wife of 25 years, Vera Armstrong who survives him; as well as his daughters, Kimberly Armstrong of Nashville, TN, and Tawnya Armstrong of Bozeman, MT. He will be dearly missed by Vera’s sons, Kaja (Angela) Lill of Houston, TX and Nick (Mindy) Lill of Grand Haven; as well as his grandchildren: Dutch Healy (and his father, James Healy), Lucas Lill, Kaja, Jana, and Benedikt Lill; his sister, Janice Olson and brother-in-law, Duane; and sister-in-law, Jan Armstrong.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Eva Ayers and Doris VeVea; his brother, Ronald Armstrong; and his former wife, Bettie Whitener.

A Celebration of Life Visitation for Don will be held on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. at Klaassen Family Funeral Home with Service and Full Military Honors beginning at 5:30 p.m. by the American Legion Charles A. Conklin Post #28.

Interment will be in Euclid, MN, later this summer.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Grand Haven Salvation Army or Harbor Humane Society.

** The Celebration of Life Service for Don will be live streamed beginning at 5:25 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13, 2024. Please click here to view:

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Celebration of Life Visitation
March 13, 2024

3:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Klaassen Family Funeral Home
1500 Robbins Road
Grand Haven, MI 49417

Video is available for this event


The Salvation Army-Grand Haven
310 N. Despelder St., Grand Haven MI 49417
Tel: 1-616-842-3380

Harbor Humane Society
14345 Bagley Street, West Olive MI 49460
Tel: 1-616-399-2119


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