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Posted: 5/7/2004 6:19:48 PM EST
I came home tonight to find a couple of friends waiting for me in the driveway. I was then informed that the cattleman on whose property I hunt had committed suicide early this morning. He was 84. I guess that he had told his son around 8AM that he would meet him at the little country diner down the road for breakfast as he did every morning. My friends are "ranch hands" for him, taking care of the couple of thousand of head of cattle and fences on the various farms he owns. They drove by one of the farms sometime after 8AM and saw Harry's truck parked on the lane entering the farm. They drove on to the next farm, assuming that he was taking a bathroom break or something. After returning to find the truck still parked there at around 9-9:30AM, they stopped to investigate. They discovered a suicide note in the truck and then discovered his body in the grass in front of the truck. He was killed by a self-inflicted .38 Special bullet to the head. These two young 20-year old men witnessed a gruesome sight that they will probably live with forever.

One a positive note, Harry was a cattleman through and through. He was even the president of the Indiana Cattleman's Association at one time. I've seen photos of him when he was in his 30's or 40's--cigarette in mouth, on horseback, herding cattle. He always wore a large, white cowboy hat when he drove around out here, and still herded the cattle every year on horseback. He looked forward to calving season every year, and spent the last couple of months doing just that. The last time I spoke with him was April 21 (opening day of wild turkey season), when I helped him pull a cow from the creek with the aid of a 4X4 pickup and chain. It had a dead calf hanging half out of it and was paralyzed in the creek. We managed to get the cow drug up the creekbank and used the truck to remove the dead calf. Harry fed and watered the paralyzed Hereford for a couple of days before coming to the conclusion that it wouldn't recover and put it down. It will be different around this small community not seeing him and hearing his favorite line, "You bet." I'd say, "See you later, Harry." and he'd reply, "You bet."
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 10:32:14 PM EST
Well, he put in 24 more years than my Dad did and you can figure every one of those years he influenced someones life. It's a shame he felt it was time to go, but it sounds like he gave plenty before he did.
Link Posted: 5/8/2004 9:42:34 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/8/2004 9:44:00 AM EST by M4Madness]
Found his obituary online. Funny how you always learn new things about a person from their obituary.

"Harry T. Armstrong

April 19, 1920 — May 7, 2004

SPRINGVILLE — Harry T. Armstrong, 84, of 1652 Springville-Judah Road, Springville, died at 7:45 a.m. on Friday, May 7, 2004 on his family farm.

Born April 19, 1920 in the Popcorn community, he was the son of Felix and Eula Rush Armstrong. He married Gladys Germ on September 10, 1945 and she survives. He was a cattleman and a member of the Popcorn Christian Church. He was the first president of the Indiana Cattleman’s Assoc. which he was instrumental in establishing. He was a veteran of WW II serving as Group Communications Officer of the 351st Bomb Group based in Polebrook, England. He enlisted as a Private and was discharged as a Major. He was a representative for Sen. Dan Quayle, a former board member of the Stone City Bank and Bedford Medical Center. He helped organize the Springville Feeder Auction Assoc. and served as the cattle sales manager. He was inducted into the Indiana Livestock Breeders’ Assoc. Hall of Fame and was a past member of the National Beef Board. He was a graduate of the Bloomington High School and attended Purdue University.

Survivors include his wife, Gladys of Springville; one son, Kent Armstrong of Springville; one daughter, Janet Armstrong of Springville; and one brother, Don Armstrong of Harrodsburg. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral services will be conducted at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 11th from the Elmwood Chapel of the Day & Carter Mortuary. Burial will follow in Lowder Cemetery. Friends may call from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, May 10th at the Day & Carter Mortuary, and from 12 noon until the hour of service on Tuesday, May 11th at the Day & Carter Mortuary. The family asks that friends consider memorial contributions be made to the Springville Heritage Fund of the Lawrence County Community Foundation."

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