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Categorized | Obituary


Lonnie Dwyaine Armstrong, age 65 of Sand Lake Michigan, took his last breath on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021. He was born to Lenny Gordon Jackson and Alexander Dwyaine Armstrong on April 17, 1956. He is remembered and is dearly missed already as a faithful servant, bold leader, intensely loving dad, tenderly fun grandpa, transparent friend, passionate coach, generous giver, and aggressive teddy bear. Lonnie grew up in Cedar Springs, Michigan and graduated from Cedar Springs High School, Class of 1974. CSHS is where he first found his passion for the sport of wrestling as a lightweight. It was also there that he met Gail Maureen Bailey, his best friend, confidant and love of his life. They married January 24, 1975 and began their adventure and legacy of unconditional love together. He may have been a lightweight in high school but when he started coaching wrestling around 1981, his larger-than-life personality thundered into the spotlight. It was also around 1981 that he came to know Jesus as his Savior and the legacy grew. Lonnie and Gail loyally raised four children in their beloved hometown. He worked at American Seating and then transitioned to business owner for FedEx all while coaching wrestling. Lonnie passed on the acceptance that he experienced from his high school wrestling team and from his wife’s family. It translated as a deep desire for every wrestler/young person to have the chance to know that they were capable, valued, and accepted – as the many youth that he coached and led over the last 40+ years can attest. He wanted everyone to be intentional about a purpose-driven life, to believe in each other as the power of a team, and to know that there is an opportunity of unconditional love because we are first loved unconditionally by our Heavenly Father. The walls of the Armstrong home are adorned with family photos and memories at every turn. He loved his family even more fiercely than wrestling and would get in his own way showing it. He loved to have control and actually chuckled with Gail at his pride during his abrupt illness. Lonnie was good at laughing at himself and knew that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. He lived that out by pushing other people to shine out their strengths, and trying so hard to learn to be better himself. Though you probably know he loved his land, business, and competition, his true legacy is the relationships that were built with those things as the tool. His family will treasure the memories of walks down the trails, dirt bikes at the sand dunes, camping at the cabin, quad rides with grandpa, learning lessons while chopping wood and delivering it to people in need, learning to hang deer stands and hunt, the lesson-based stories he told.. and re-told. He will be missed by the Calvary Baptist Greenville Middle School small groups, the 2022 Rockford Middle School Wrestling Team, the Men’s Saturday morning small group, all the people that called on him as a capable and loyal friend and brother, many others we don’t even know about, and most of all his family that he loved so dearly and truly, cherishing every relationship. Lonnie is survived by his gracious wife of 46 years, Gail Armstrong; children Aaron (Missy) Armstrong, Holly (Troy) Anderson, Sara (Jeremiah) Gitchel, Lee (Lindsey) Armstrong; the grandkids, Austin (Julia), Dawson (Ashely), Casen, Quaden, Brody, Ryker, Léda, Isaac, Avery, Eden, Porter, Brecken; the great-grandkids, Stella and Arbor; his sister Rhonda Davis; brother Rick (Jan) Pierman, many in-laws, nephews, nieces, and cousins. His memorial service will be held at a later date, to be determined. To honor his memory, please send a card to 16913 Penny Ave, Sand Lake MI 49343 with a note of a lesson, memory, or story that you remember of Lonnie or of the impact that he had on your life. Memorial contributions can be made to Calvary Baptist Church 12501 Montcalm Rd. Greenville, MI 48838 memo: Lonnie Armstrong Memorial – Student Ministries.

A friend accurately wrote “He loved Jesus and is spending eternity with Him. He would love nothing more than to see you in Heaven with Him.”

Pass it on.

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