Dr. Thomas P. Armour, 84, a former Pastor at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Hackettstown, New Jersey, died 15 June at Avow Hospice in Naples, Florida following a lengthy illness. A guide for his life’s work can be found in a New Testament verse from the Gospel of John, Chapter 15: I am the vine, ye are the branches; He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing. Reverend Armour was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1930. He graduated from Concordia Junior College in Milwaukee, served a two year vicarage assignment there, moving on to graduate from the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod’s Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in 1956. He married Lois Froehlich shortly thereafter. He served as a teacher, basketball and swimming coach at Concordia College in Milwaukee beginning in 1956. In January 1957 he was ordained and served as a Sunday Assistant Pastor at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin in addition to his assignment at Concordia College. In August 1959 he accepted a call to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Lawrence Township, New Jersey and was instrumental in helping foster continued growth in the venerable congregation. Under Pastor Armour’s guiding hand the congregation grew and moved services from the local middle school to a new church building and fellowship hall on Princeton Pike. In 1964, Pastor Armour accepted a call from Elm Grove Evangelical Lutheran Church in Elm Grove, Wisconsin; a much larger congregation with a parochial school. There he served as an Assistant to the Pastor. In the fall of 1966, Pastor Armour received a call to Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Hackettstown, New Jersey. Gethsemane had been without a Pastor for a lengthy period. The family returned to New Jersey and Pastor Armour began his ministry at Gethsemane in January of 1967, a ministry that would continue for over 31 years. While at Gethsemane, Pastor Armour was elected to the Hackettstown Board of Education, serving for 14 years. He served several terms as District Vice President for the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, Atlantic District; and for three years was a Pastoral Assistant to the Atlantic District Lutheran Layman’s League. In 1995, he earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. His dissertation was titled "Revitalizing the Role of the Laity in the Worship Life of the Church." In 1975, he was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the Mill Neck Family of Organizations, and served for 40 years in various capacities including Board President. The Mill Neck Family of Organizations, founded by the Lutheran Friends of the Deaf, works to enhance the quality of life for people who are Deaf, or who have other special communication needs, through excellence in individually designed educational, vocational or spiritual programs and services. Mill Neck Manor Lutheran School for the Deaf, operates on the former Lillian Sefton Dodge estate located at Mill Neck in Nassau County, New York. Pastor Armour’s service to others continued in retirement as the Director of Senior Ministry at Zion Lutheran Church in Fort Myers, Florida for another 10 years. Dr. Armour is survived by his wife of 58 years, Lois; Brothers-in-law: Nord Froehlich (Barbara); Rev. Ronald Froehlich; Rev. Charles Froehlich (Kathleen); Sister-in-law: Carole McDuffie (Blake); sons Lieutenant Colonel David Armour (Regina); James Armour (Paula); daughters Karen Armour-Hoke (Chris); and Kristin Banse (Kyle); nine Grandchildren and a Granddaughter-in-law;; nieces and nephews.
Visitation hours will be held at the Cochran Funeral Home, 905 High Street, Hackettstown, NJ 07840 on Friday, June 19th from 5-8 pm. A funeral service will be held at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church 409 E. Baldwin Street, Hackettstown, NJ 07840 at 10 am with the Rev. Terry Herzberg officiating. Burial will follow at the Pequest Union Cemetery, Great Meadows, NJ.
For those desiring, donations may be made to the Lutheran Friends of the Deaf, 34 Frost Mill Road, Mill Neck, NY 11765 or to the Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 409 E. Baldwin Street, Hackettstown, NJ 07840 or to the Zion Lutheran Church, 7401 Winkler Road, Fort Myers, FL 33919 in memory of Thomas.
Edna M. Payrett
February 16th, 2019 8:41 pm
Deeply saddened to hear of your father's passing. May you find peace in the knowledge that he has gone home to our Lord. My thoughts & prayers go out to you.
December 15th, 2015 8:48 am
I just found out about Thomas's passing. I am very sorry to hear this. I was his physical therapist for a short time. He was a nice and funny man, and your family was very kind to me as well. God bless you in this holiday season.
June 25th, 2015 11:31 am
David and family-please accept my condolences. I always enjoyed speaking to your father and will always remember his smile.
Gail Aschoff Luck and family
June 24th, 2015 5:32 pm
Dear Armour, I have nothing but wonderful memorries of my time at the church where your father had pastored. I remember he baptized me at the age of 9 and Karen, you and I acolyted many, many times your father is whom I compare all pastors to this day (Some have come close...but no cigar) May the lord comfortyou in your time of sorrow,your in our prayers.
June 21st, 2015 7:48 pm
So sorry to hear of Tom,s passing, I'll always remember him.
God's peace to his family.
June 19th, 2015 7:28 am
My condolences to the Armour family. I will always have fond memories of Pastor and Gethsemane. I received the foundation for my beliefs from him there. He Baptized and Confirmed me. A kind man who will be remembered.
Michael & Janice (Aschoff) Wald
June 18th, 2015 11:17 pm
Sorry to learn of Pastor Armour's passing. He officiated our wedding 35 years ago. He was an inspiration then and his example continues to be an inspiration. He was missed by his spiritual family in Hackettstown, and will now be missed by his family as well. A great kind man has passed.
Karin & Bob Schardt
June 18th, 2015 4:56 pm
Such sad news. Pastor Armour married us in 1968. Gethsemane was our church home for many years. He also baptized our two sons. Our condolences to Lois & his extended family.
June 18th, 2015 7:01 am
Jim, David and family:
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I remember your dad from our school days, and enjoyed him as a sometimes-congregant at his church. He was a wise, patient, exceedingly kind man who raised a wonderful family. May the many happy thoughts and memories from a life well lived comfort you in the days and weeks ahead. Sending you good thoughts and prayers.
Carol and Frank Collins
June 17th, 2015 7:12 pm
Dear Lois and Family,
Our deepest sympathy go out to all of you during this difficult time of sorrow. Pastor Armour inspired us and left an everlasting footprint in our hearts. Just to mention a few of the many fond memories we have of him.......he married us, confirmed our son, Chris, blessed our new home plus encouraged me to teach Sunday School; which was a wonderful experience. Needless to say, these memories will last us a lifetime. Along with his kindness, brilliant smile and words of wisdom he will be greatly missed. We will NOT forget him. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. May Pastor REST IN PEACE!! So sorry for your loss.
June 17th, 2015 5:00 pm
Dear Armour Family, I will always have a special place in my heart for Pastor Armour. He was so helpful to my family in our time of need, educated my siblings and I spiritually and was the head of a wonderful family. Thanks for all of the wonderful memories. I pray we will all meet again in heaven. So very sorry for your loss.
Debra (Thoms) Sadowski
June 17th, 2015 8:09 am
To the Armour family. I'm am so sorry for your loss. Rev. Armour was my Pastor growing up, performed all three of my marriages and baptized my son.
He made Bible study fun and his sermons never put anyone to sleep.
He always visited me when I was in the hospital and the most thankful time was when I was having my cancer surgery.
All that knew him admired and loved him.
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