Dedicated to Friends, Past and Present
Bobby Cantrell Armstrong, 88, passed away on October 23rd at home in Jacksonville, FL. He was well known by many on the Southern Airways system and in the Panama City/Bay County area especially those that flew Southern in/out of Panama City Fannin Field. He was born August 18, 1933 in the Evergreen Community of Itawamba County, MS to Harry Tracy Armstrong and Bessie Patterson Armstrong. He attended elementary school in Evergreen and graduated from Itawamba Agricultural High School in 1951. He enlisted in the US Army in 1952 and achieved the rank of SSG. He was stationed at Arlington Hall, VA where he met and married PFC Orwilda Sue "Willi" Jenkins of Sherman, TX on Feb 22, 1955 in Washington, DC.
After an honorable discharge from the Army, he started work with Southern Airways on May 23, 1955 in Monroe, LA. His son was born at Barksdale AFB, LA and his daughter was born in Monroe. While in Monroe, he obtained his private Pilot's License and began serving with the Civil Air Patrol in Monroe and later at Hattiesburg, MS. His career moves with Southern Airways as Station Manger began in Bogalusa, LA, then Hattiesburg station, and finally settling in Panama City, FL in 1962. After a merger with North Central Airlines to form Republic Airlines and another merger with Northwest Airlines, the Panama City station was closed in 1989. Then, he worked as Station Manager in Mobile, AL until retirement in 1993. He served with the Bay County Chamber of Commerce while expanding Southern Airways air service to support the growing tourism to the "World's Most Beautiful Beaches." He was a member of Jaycees and played on the men's softball team. Bobby was very active in the Forest Park community, coaching the Foremost little league team at RL Turner Park for many years and successfully took the RL Turner all-star team to runner up in the State Championship. He also coached the Northside Elementary School Vikings boy's football team of the Gulf Coast Midget Football League. Besides his loving dedication to his wife and children, his main hobby was always on keeping up with the Southern Airways families and remaining close to the Panama City airport. After retirement he worked as a part time driver for an additional 20+ years at Alamo/National/Enterprise Rental Cars. After his wife's stroke in 2018, they moved to Jacksonville, FL to be near and cared for by their daughter.
Survivors include son Bobby Armstrong, Jr (Nancy) of Charlotte, NC; daughter Amy Armstrong Tajdari (Mohammad) of Jacksonville, FL; grandson Tracy Brooks Armstrong (Sarah); granddaughter Anna Kathleen Armstrong; great-granddaughter Aliya Brooks Armstrong; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife in 2021; his parents; brothers William Nolan Armstrong, Harry Lee Armstrong; and sisters Kathleen Armstrong Kelley, Joe Nell Armstrong Edge Loucks, Faye Armstrong McDaniel, and Lillian Armstrong Knight Buse.
After cremation, a private family memorial service will be held at Evergreen New Chapel Cemetery in Itawamba County, MS near Tupelo.
Bobby Cantrell Armstrong Sr.
August 18, 1933 - October 23, 2021