Harry C. Armstrong, 88, modeler of ships and trains...

March 31, 2001

Harry C. Armstrong, 88, modeler of ships and trains

Harry Campbell Armstrong, former director of the Staley Elevator Co. and a nationally known modeler of ships and trains, died Tuesday of cancer at the Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care in Towson. He was 88.

Mr. Armstrong, who retired in 1985 from the elevator company in Long Island City, N.Y., had lived in Bel Air since 1990. He began with the firm as a technician and later was promoted to plant manager and director.

An accomplished modeler, Mr. Armstrong fashioned highly detailed, hand-made replicas of famous Cunard ocean liners, Staten Island ferries and the LST that landed him on Normandy on D-Day. Several of his ship models are in the Mariner's Museum's permanent collection in Newport News, Va.

His railroad models included historically significant trains of the B&O. For years, he wrote illustrated how-to articles for Model Railroader magazine.

He was also an accomplished photographer and pianist, and he enjoyed painting nautical subjects.

Born in Liverpool, England, he was the son of a steamship captain, was raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., and graduated from Erasmus High School. He earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute.

During World War II, he served with the Army and was discharged at war's end with the rank of lieutenant.

He was married for many years to the former Betty Bowen, who died in the 1970s. In 1976, he married Janice Porter, who survives him.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at the Bel Air Church of the Nazarene, 1705 Conowingo Road.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two brothers, Walter Armstrong of Seiglers, S.C., and Howard Armstrong of Wantagh, N.Y.; two stepsons, Frederick Gerlach of Milwaukee and John Gerlach of Northport, N.Y.; and three stepdaughters, Anne Piluk of Perryville, Christina Slevin of Baltimore and Paula Dusharm of Mooresville, N.C.


Helge Ingstad, 101, a Norwegian scholar and explorer whose discovery of a Viking landing in North America 500 years before Christopher Columbus turned Norse myth into historical fact, died Thursday in Oslo. L'Anse aux Meadows was discovered on Newfoundland's northern tip in 1964.

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