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In Memoriam - David Geoffrey Armstrong

ARMSTRONG, Scott Geoffrey David, Former Member

David Geoffrey Scott Armstrong died peacefully in Toronto, on July 22, 2018 at the age of 90. Geoff is survived by his wife, Barbara Hyland; his children, Gail and Chris (Trish); stepsons, Mark (Carolyn) and Patrick (Gillian) Hyland; son-in-law, John Krizanc; and was predeceased by his brother, Gordon; and daughter, Carolyn Jane. He leaves behind his brother, Phillip (Mary); and grandchildren, Alexandra, Stephan, Alex, Imogen, Tait, Calla and Henry (who will all miss his napkin sculptures and painting lessons); and five great-grandchildren. As a father, Geoff was an effortless creator of magic, beauty and fun. He made summers in the country a time of great wonder and glee.

Born in Toronto, Geoff attended Upper Canada College and after graduating in architecture from the University of Toronto he went on to apprentice in Boston and in London, England. There, he met his first wife, Joan Alice Howes.

Returning to Toronto, Geoff partnered with David Molesworth to create a niche architectural firm, Armstrong Molesworth Shepherd, dedicated to building unique cottages and country properties that sought to bring clients and their families closer to nature and in so doing, each other. In spite of a busy practice, Geoff maintained a second career as a landscape artist with biannual shows at Toronto's Roberts Gallery and was an active member of the Royal Canadian Academy, the SCA, OSA and the Arts and Letters Club. Whether in the Arctic, the Queen Charlotte Islands, or the granite majesty of his beloved Georgian Bay, Geoff found deep communion in nature, and rendered it with a deft and reverent brush. His work is held in numerous private collections and museums.

In 1994, Geoff was delighted to begin his second act, with marriage to Barbara Ann Hyland. The two discovered Vieques, an island off the coast of Puerto Rico. There, they spent more than 20 winters at Trilogy, a house whose architecture he admired, but also immediately set about improving. He delighted in building orchid trails and spent hours happily rearranging nature to suit his vision. The vibrant colours of the Caribbean asserted themselves in his later paintings and soon he saw pastels in even the gloomiest of Canada's rocky shores.

Geoff was a man of great vitality and optimism, forever creating new spaces and tearing down walls to let in the sun. His was a rare and charmed life, that touched the hearts of all he met. He lived simply and loved generously.
Geoff's recent years were made richer by the loving care of Tessie Orcino, Maria Victoria Pilac, Amante Batoon and Leah Tubon. Many thanks as well to the wonderful staff at Belmont House, including Reallyn and Marlaw, Leo and Tina. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Belmont House Foundation (www.BelmontHouse.com) or the Krembil Neuroscience Institute (www.uhn.ca/KNC) would be gratefully received.

A celebration of his life will be held on September 16, 2018 from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. at the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club, 44 Price St. Click here to view his obituary.