Robert Carkeek Armstead
November 14, 1918 ~ July 18, 2012
Col. Robert Carkeek Armstead, USMC (ret.), 93, passed away peacefully on July 18, 2012 at his home in Sun City West, AZ. The son of the late Maj. Frank Robert Armstead, USMC (ret.) and Amalia Carkeek Armstead of Bellevue, he was born in Fredericksburg, VA. During his childhood he lived with his parents in many locations including Guam, Tientsin and Shanghai in China, Virginia and South Carolina, though Medina and Bellevue were always home. He attended the University of Washington, graduating from the US Naval Academy, Class of 1942, in December 1941 in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor. On December 19, 1941 he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps.
During World War II he served with infantry, artillery and sea-going forces. In March 1947 he was designated a Naval Aviator transitioning to jets in 1949. Among his awards were the Bronze Star with Combat “V” and the Air Medal for meritorious service and achievement in Korea in 1952. In 1957 he received a degree in Nuclear Physics from the Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, CA. Upon his retirement in January 1968 after a total of 31 years of service which included several commands and staff assignments, Col. Armstead was cited for his “exceptionally meritorious performance of duty…professional knowledge… leadership and distinctive qualities of devotion to duty (which) stand as an example of achievement for all to emulate.” He often said that nothing he had seen or done had been as satisfying as service as a Marine.
After retirement he was a real estate broker and appraiser in Bellevue. Col. Armstead was a Life Member of the US Naval Academy Alumni Association, a member of the Marine Corps Aviation Association and of the Association of Naval Aviation.
Col. Armstead was preceded in death by his parents, his stepson Russell Alan Korich and cousins Richard Wesley Carkeek and William John Carkeek.
He is survived by his beloved wife Colleen, children Jean (Robert) Chun, Rob Armstead, Michael (Sara) Korich, Marcia Korich, Denise Korich, Shane Korich and Karen (Vince) Renteria, 9 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren and many cousins.
Interment will be at Tahoma National Cemetery, 18600 SE 240th Street, Kent. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.
Published in The Seattle Times from August 1 to August 8, 2012