Wendell Melvin "Wink" Armstrong

Wendell Melvin Armstrong went to be with the Lord on Monday, March 5, 2018.  He was born on September 20, 1936 in Fountain Inn, SC. He was welcomed by his parents Charles Dial Armstrong and Esther Verdin Armstrong along with ten siblings onto the beloved farm where they lived. He was lovingly known to his family as “Wink”.

He spent his young life helping his family work the farm and tend to the fields, gardens and animals. This is something he would continue to do long after the family no longer lived there. The farm was a place of hard work, solitude and family history that he always kept close to his heart. 

As a young man, Wink was proud to serve as a Sergeant in the Air Force. He was stationed 750 miles north of the Arctic Circle at the Thule Air Base in northern Greenland where he served as a cryptologist. He shared his post along with the British military who gave him the infamous nickname “Governor”.

Upon his return from Greenland, Wink met and married the love of his life, Jane Stutts. They welcomed their one and only child W. Stutts Armstrong into the world in 1964. Wink was thrilled to become a father and begin to raise a family in the town where he was raised.

Wink had a lifelong career with W.R. Grace (now Cryovac). He was also heavily involved with his church as a Deacon, along with volunteering with everything from a men’s breakfast, to locking up the church each night. For every family dinner, Wink was always asked to say a beautiful and heartfelt blessing.

In 1998 Wink officially became “Papa” as he welcomed his grandchildren Elizabeth (1998) and Maclean (2001) into his life. He loved doting on his grandkids, especially after they moved from Seattle to Greenville in 2003.

In his spare time, he loved tinkering with his many, many clocks. The house was always filled with more chiming clocks than you could count. He loved pocket watches, pocket knives, and driving his beloved Ford truck around town. He loved to cook, especially a big pot of hearty soup with vegetables he brought home from the farm.

He will be remembered for many things he said and did, but he will also be remembered for what he never said--Wink never said an unkind word about anyone. He had a gentle smile and twinkling blue eyes. He had a kind heart and a devoted love of God.  He acquired many names and titles during his life, but he will always cherish the name “child of God” the most.

Wink leaves behind two sisters (Esther Presher and Rachel Jacobs), his wife Jane, their son Stutts, and two grandchildren (Elizabeth and Maclean).

In lieu of flowers, the family requests tax-deductible donations be made to the charity “The Love of Giving” which was founded by his granddaughter Elizabeth to help hospitalized children at Greenville Children’s Hospital and Shriner’s Hospital.

Please send checks written out to “SJCS” with “The Love of Giving” in the memo section to:

St. Joseph’s Catholic School

Attn: Kevin Meyer

100 St. Joseph’s Drive

Greenville, SC 29607


A memorial service will be held at Fairview Presbyterian Church in Fountain Inn at 11am on Thursday, March 8th.