Member for

5 years 3 months
Submitted by bryan on Thu, 06/01/2023 - 01:18:PM

Our beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and friend, Blair passed away peacefully, four days before his 89th birthday.

Blair was predeceased by his father Omar and mother Hilda, sister Marjorie, brother Donald and daughter Deanna.  He is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Betty ‘Don; son Eric and daughter Laura; grandchildren Jessica, James (Kenzie) and Angela Armstrong, Daniel (Cristina), Nicholas and Justin Aubry, Robert Armstrong Bolduc and great-granddaughter Eleanor Armstrong.

Blair began his business life working for the Bank of Nova Scotia.  He then joined his father and brother in the family footwear business, Armstrong and Richardson Limited.  They built the company from the original store into a multi-store chain serving Ottawa and Eastern Ontario.  A and R developed a well earned reputation for quality merchandise and specialized fitting service.  Blair was well suited to retailing with his outgoing personality, genuine interest and strong work ethic.  He was very proud to work with his children and grandchildren in the business and to share his knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm.  In addition to the busy life of retailing, Blair made an important contribution to the business community as he served on the Board of Directors and then as President of the Canadian Shoe Retailers Association which represented footwear retailers across Canada.  He also served as President of the Ottawa Executives Association and received the honour of Executive of the Year Award.

Blair strongly believed in giving something back to his community.  He was President of the Rotary Club of West Ottawa and it was through this service organization that he was able to assist those in need.  He was presented with the Paul Harris Fellow Award and Honoured Life Member Award by his Rotary club in recognition of his outstanding service over 66 years.  Blair was a Free Mason and Shriner and made considerable efforts to raise funds for the Shriners Hospitals for Children.  He was involved with the YMCA for most of his life and served as Chairman of the Ottawa West branch.  He was a member of the congregation of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church.

As a boy, Blair spent many summers at YMCA camp On Da Da Waks on Golden Lake.  It was there that he gained his sense of adventure and love of the outdoors.  Boating, fishing, hiking, camping and especially canoeing were favorite activities.  As a young man, he hiked the Tonquin Valley Trail in Jasper National Park, Alberta.  Years later, with his family, he hiked the infamous Chilcoot Trail in Alaska and British Columbia.  He always enjoyed paddling his canoe especially in Algonquin Provincial Park.  

Known for his powerful baritone singing voice, Blair was a soloist and member of several choirs throughout his life.  In recent years, he was a member of the Ottawa Police Service Chorus.  He loved to sing and to lead others in song.    

Blair was an avid curler and was a member of the Granite Curling Club and Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club.  Beyond club competition, he participated in many Rotary Can-Am bonspiels and once spent four weeks on a tour of Scotland as a member of a 22 man Canadian Rotary Curling team.

Blair’s favorite place was at the cottage, with his family, on Big Rideau Lake where he and Mom started out with a tent and Coleman stove in the late 50’s.  Subsequently, he built a small cabin and then the cottage.  He was a self-taught carpenter and handyman and was skilled with various tools and machines. 

Blair shared a wonderful love story with his wife and best friend, Betty ‘Don.  His family always came first and was his pride and joy.  He was a loving, thoughtful, kind and generous man.  May he rest in peace.

Blair’s family would like to express our sincere appreciation to Dr. Andrea McDonald, the management and staff at Viva Retirement Residence Barrhaven and Carefor Community Health Services for their kindness and thoughtful care.  We would also like to thank Dr. Mark Aubry for his exceptional care given over many years.

Friends and Family are invited to visit at Beechwood Funeral, Cemetery and Cremation Services, 280 Beechwood Avenue, Ottawa from 2 – 4pm and 7 – 9pm Tuesday, June 6.  A Celebration of Life will be held in the Sacred Space of Beechwood on Wednesday, June 7, at 1 o’clock with interment to follow in Beechwood Cemetery.

Digital Guestbook

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 06/02/2023 - 02:25:AM


John kenny

Our warmest condolences to the Armstrong family, John & Leona Kenny

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 06/02/2023 - 06:53:AM


Bruno Dugas

I’ve known Blair for 40 years. I met him at the OXA and enjoyed lots of time with him at our fishing club, travelling to many venues throughout North America. He was always a joy to be with. Hr will be greatly missed.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 06/02/2023 - 09:13:AM


Peter Homulos

Sincere condolences, I have very fond memories of fishing with Blair!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 06/02/2023 - 11:36:AM


Murray Hardie

Sorry to learn of Blair’s passing. I have very good memories of fishing with Blair at God’s Lake in Manitoba. A great guy to be with, always positive and cheerful.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 06/02/2023 - 12:59:PM


Greg & Sheila McDonald

Rest in Peace uncle Blair. It is as a pleasure working @ A&R with you. You showed me what a real salesman looked like.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 06/03/2023 - 09:53:AM


Craig and Karen Mackay

Our deepest condolences. Blair was an inspired business person, a treat to know. To Eric and the rest the family and grandkids we send our best wishes. Give him a good send off. He lived a good life.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/04/2023 - 04:51:PM


Franco and Frances Giammaria

Our warmest condolences to Betty 'Don, son Eric, daughter Laura and their families.
Rest in Peace Blair Blair, it has been an honor to have known you.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/04/2023 - 07:03:PM


David Belfoi

My heartfelt condolences to the Armstrong family. They were like a second family across the street on Whitehaven. So many interactions as a young child with Blair. My first job was shoveling the laneway which was uphill sloped - not going to lie but I think I put more effort into that driveway than Ron's. I remember a couple of times Blair only had 50s in his wallet - the man had a heart of gold and was always smiling. The smile was still around when I finally got my first car and it seems I forgot to put the handbrake on and it rolled into the big stone walls on Georgina.....between Blair and my dad, I was a little scared. Well, Blair just shrugged it off and let my dad handle the outcome.
David and Family

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 06/05/2023 - 12:58:AM


Tim Aubry and Lisa Sibalis

Sincere condolences to Betty, Don, Laura, Eric and the grandchildren. We always enjoyed our contact with Blair over many years at family events. He was such a positive and generous person.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 06/05/2023 - 04:36:PM


Jack and Kay McAllister

Our sincere condolences to Betty 'Don and the family. Blair was a warm, friendly and much admired friend at West Ottawa Rotary.

Sign digital guestbook

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Photo Gallery

Back to upcoming services