MOUNT DESERT — Constance “Connie” Ells Armstrong, 87, died Nov. 13, 2014, in Mount Desert. Connie was born Feb. 17, 1927, in Bar Harbor, the daughter of Dr. John B. Ells and Charlotte Brewer Ells. Her brother, Jack, who died in 2000, was seven years older than her.
Although she did not drive until the 1950s, she won a new 1938 Ford car in a drawing in Bar Harbor when she was 11. Connie was an active Girl Scout and in the summer went to Camp Natarswi (Mount Katahdin). She won the Junior Speakers Award at Bar Harbor High School in 1944 and was said to have great skills as a conversationalist.
Connie graduated from Bar Harbor High School in 1945 and Syracuse University in 1951 with a bachelor’s degree in euthenics (home economics). She met her husband, Quentin E. Armstrong, at Syracuse University through her roommate and his twin sister, Carole. They married on Aug. 25, 1951, at the St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church in Bar Harbor and honeymooned in Quebec, Canada.
The Armstrongs lived in Whitehouse Station and later in Stanton on Woodchurch Road, where they raised three children. In the early 1970s, Connie earned her teaching degree at Douglass-Rutgers University and began a 15-year career as a high school cooking and sewing (home economics) teacher at North Hunterdon Regional High School. She also taught special needs students, which she felt was very rewarding. Connie was active in the AAUW, the Clinton Art Center and was a challenger at the polls for many years.
She had many great friends but only one best friend, Sylvia Young Cough. In 1987, she and her husband retired to Long Pond near Somesville.
Connie traveled around the world, visiting China, Russia, Europe, Cambodia, Turkey, Greece, South America and other places. She loved to read, sew, cook, dance and watch all types of movies and plays. Connie was a tour guide for Bar Harbor cruise ship bus tours, sewed clothes for Bar Harbor stores and won sewing awards at the Blue Hill Fair. For many years, she was the co-host for the Okemo family ski weekend. Her house always had a cat.
Connie is survived by her husband, Quentin Emerson Armstrong; and three children, Janice Armstrong of Milford, N.J, Brian Armstrong of Millstone Township, N.J., Ellen Zeltner of Springfield, Mass.; four grandchildren, Jessica Bacheler Tan, Josh Bacheler and Karla and Kimberly Armstrong; a niece, Sheree Castonguay; and three nephews, Eric, Clifford and Stuart Gordon. Connie’s beloved first cousin, Tommy C. Higgins, died in 1999.
A memorial service in New Jersey is planned for February 2015. Spring interment will be at Brookside Cemetery, Mount Desert. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Connie’s memory may be made to the AAUW Educational Opportunities Fund, P.O. Box 98045, Washington, DC 20090-8045. Arrangements by Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.