James W. 'Bill' Armstrong obituary

Contact: Jeanne Baron
Photo of Dr. Bill .


Dr. James W. "Bill" Armstrong, Western Michigan University associate professor emeritus of education and professional development, died Feb. 23 in Winona, Minn. He was 85.

Dr. James W. 'Bill' Armstrong

Armstrong, an educational technology specialist, joined the WMU faculty in 1969 and retired in 1989 after more than 20 years of service to the University. He taught teacher education classes, and as a media consultant for WMU's Education Resources Center, helped faculty members across campus to create and improve instructional media.

Over the years, Armstrong taught hundreds of future K-12 teachers how to use a variety of teaching aids, from filmstrips to Apple computers. He also earned production credits on numerous educational films and other projects.

Before coming to WMU, Armstrong had been an assistant professor of education at Indiana State University since 1965. He also had served ISU as an associate and assistant production supervisor in the Audio-Visual Center from 1957 to 1960, a lecturer and visiting assistant professor in Nigeria from 1960 to 1962 through the university's Communication Media Project, and a lecturer and assistant program supervisor in the Audio-Visual Center from 1962 to 1965.

His professional service included membership on the International Visual Literacy Association Executive Board and presiding over the editorial board of the Journal of Visual/Verbal Languaging.

Armstrong earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Northwestern University in 1948 and a doctoral degree in education from Indiana University in 1972. For several years after finishing his undergraduate education, he worked as a photographer at the newspaper edited by his grandfather and later by his mother.

At the start of the Korean War in 1950, Armstrong enlisted in the Army. He attained the rank of sergeant after serving three years, first at the Army Motion Picture Studio in Astoria, N.Y., and then as a public information staff member and cartoonist attached to the 24th Infantry Division in Sendai, Japan.


A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 22, in Portage, Mich.

Visit legacy.com to make a memorial guestbook entry. Memorial gifts may be made to the memorial garden at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1515 Helen Ave., Portage, MI 49002.