CHANUTE — Jean Anne (Converse) Armstrong, age 84, of Chanute, Kan., passed away peacefully on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, at Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center. Jean was born on Oct. 10, 1937, in Great Bend, Kan., to Harvey and Marcile (Ray) Converse. She graduated from Great Bend High School in 1955 and then again four years later from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Music Education. Jean received her Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy from Pittsburg State University in 1997. Jean was working as a music teacher in Wilson, Kan., when she met Willis “Bill” Armstrong, Jr., a band instructor working in nearby Russell, Kan. After a whirlwind courtship, the two married on March 17, 1962, at the First United Methodist Church in Great Bend, Kan.
Jean is survived by daughter, Lisa Jo Armstrong; son, Craig Allen Armstrong; grandchildren, Jessica Marie Armstrong and Juan Carlos Armstrong; sister, Patricia Sue Kuster. She is preceded in death by her husband Bill and her parents.
To say that Jean Armstrong loved music would be an understatement. Music composed every fiber of Jean’s being. She taught elementary school music at USD 413 from 1974 until she retired in 2002. She loved every child she taught, having an uncanny knack for remembering each of their names. It was impossible to take a trip to the store with Jean without children yelling with joy, “Mrs. Armstrong,” from across the aisle.
Jean shared her love of music and musical talents with the entire community. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Chanute, where she directed the children’s choir as well as the youth and adult bell choirs for many years. In addition, Jean was a member of the St. Cecilia Music Club. Still, Jean’s pride and joy came from teaching private piano lessons. Jean taught countless students how to play the piano. Her home was always filled with the sounds of a metronome, sour notes, and the rustle of candy wrappers as “her kids” celebrated their lessons’ successes with every sweet treat imaginable.
Jean also loved animals. Her passion for all living things often filled her home with kitties, dogs, and bunnies, just to name a few. In her golden years, Jean was happiest when petting a cat on her lap while listening to it purr. She wore her title as the “crazy cat lady” with pride, never refusing a fresh bowl of milk or kitty kibble to any feline in need. Jean will forever be remembered for her extraordinary kindness to animals.
Jean was many things to many people. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, and friend. Jean loved her family fiercely, making many sacrifices for them by placing their needs far above her own. Nevertheless, perhaps the title Jean enjoyed most was that of grandma or “Granny Pants,” as she was affectionately known. Jean took her responsibilities as grandmother very seriously. She spoiled her grandchildren with her unconditional love, endless gifts of stuffed animals, and bottomless bowls of candy.
Jean will be sorely missed by all those who knew her. Her unmistakable laugh and the fast-paced clippety-clop of her heels, clacking against hard floors, now grace the halls of her heavenly home.
A visitation will be held on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, from 6-8 p.m. at Countryside Funeral Home Johnson Chapel in Chanute, Kan. The funeral service will be on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, at 10 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Chanute, Kan. Burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery in Chanute. The family suggests memorials be made to the Royster Middle School Vocal Plus choir to support their upcoming performance at the Kansas Music Educators Association annual conference. Donations may be mailed to or left with the funeral home. Online condolences can be left at www.countrysidefh.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to Countryside Funeral Home, 101 N. Highland, Chanute, KS 66720.
Funeral arrangements provided by
Countryside Funeral Home
101 N Highland Ave.
Chanute, KS 66720
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Aug. 12, 2022