Tribute For Gregori Armstrong, a Chicago Ironworker, Dies at 66


Mr. Armstrong died on June 3. He was 66. He had asthma, and after falling ill and testing positive for the coronavirus, went to the hospital where he suffered a stroke, his daughter said. A few days later he was removed from life support and died almost immediately.

Gregori Vaughn Armstrong was born on Feb. 25, 1954, in Chicago. His father, Leslie, worked at the post office, and his mother, Betty, helped manage a bus company before later becoming a nurse.

On May 30, when his health was failing, Mr. Armstrong went to a downtown Chicago hospital. But he had to wait several hours before being admitted, his daughter said, because doctors were inundated with police officers and demonstrators seeking treatment after unrest in Chicago following the May 25 killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.

Mr. Armstrong had closely followed the Floyd case, posting numerous references to its nationwide ramifications on his Facebook page.

“He was just trying to support being Black in America,” his daughter said.

When he was growing up, she said, “Chicago was very segregated, and there were certain neighborhoods he couldn’t go to.” He once got off at the wrong bus stop and, when he realized he was where he wasn’t wanted, ran home rather than wait for the next bus.

He devoted most of his time to working and fixing things and to taking care of the people he loved. He was a single father to his daughter and raised two young men, Nichrien Banks and Leonard Burton, who had lost their own fathers.

In addition to them and his daughter, his survivors include his sisters, Twumwa Grant and Olabisi and Kemba OlaKolade, and nine grandchildren.



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