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College of Education
phone: (208) 885-6772
toll free: (888) 884-3246
fax: (208) 885-6761
875 Perimeter Drive MS3080
Moscow, ID 83844-3080 

Coeur d'Alene
Phone (208) 667-2588
Toll free (888) 208-2268
Fax (208) 664-1272
1031 N. Academic Way, Suite 242
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

Phone (208) 334-2999
Toll free (866) 264-7384
Fax (208) 364-4035
322 E. Front Street
Boise, ID 83702

Remembering a Legacy, Terry Armstrong

Terry Armstrong
1935 - 2014

Dr. Terry ArmstrongThe College of Education is sad to announce the passing of Terry Armstrong on January 23, 2014. Terry was Professor Emeritus and long-time friend and inspiration to many University of Idaho alumni, friends, and colleagues. Terry received his master and doctoral degrees from the University of Idaho and began his teaching career in the College of Education while earning his degrees. In 1978, he was asked by UI President Gibb to become his executive assistant, and worked in this capacity for 12 years, until 1989, when he returned to teaching full time.

While working in President Gibb’s office in 1981, Terry found three pennies on the sidewalk on his way to work one morning. These three pennies became the initial fund for the now more than $333,000 Found Money Fund of Idaho. Up to the end, Terry was still soliciting and searching for lost coins to add to his famous fund. The proceeds of the fund will be used for student scholarships in the future.

Celebration of Life

Saturday, February 8, 2014
at 2:00 pm Moscow, Idaho
University Inn Best Western.
All are welcome to attend.
Terry was born in Twin Falls, Idaho, April 24, 1935 and grew up a few miles away in Salmon. He played basketball for Twin Falls High School, and after graduation, received a basketball scholarship from the University of Southern Mississippi, where he majored in biology and where he developed an intense interest in the natural history of reptiles and amphibians. He graduated in 1958 and moved back to Salmon to teach and coach basketball. In 1959 he met Pat Havemann, a medical technologist, on a blind date. The couple was married June 11, 1960.

During his third year of teaching at Salmon, Terry received an NSF fellowship at the University of Idaho for his master’s degree. He spent the next three summers on the U of I campus studying for his master’s. He was appointed to the executive board of the Northwest Regional Lab, and in 1963 was named the first president of the Idaho Teachers Science Association. That was also the year he began teaching at Vallivue High School in Boise, and the year that Pat and Terry’s daughter, Mary, was born.

In 1967 Terry was elected to the Executive Board of the Idaho Academy of Science. After five years teaching in southern Idaho, Terry and his family finally moved to Moscow, where, upon the encouragement of then Dean of the College of Education, Everett Samuelson, Terry completed his Ed.D. and began teaching. By the time he was 40, Terry was a tenured professor.

After teaching for 20 years, Terry retired from the University of Idaho in 1996, but continued teaching, speaking, and serving on boards, including the Gritman Medical Center Foundation Board. He acquired an intense interest in the study of the brain, and enjoyed giving talks and mentoring students in the neurosciences. He maintained an emeritus faculty office in the College of Education until his passing, often making his rounds on campus to keep in touch with friends.

In 2010 Terry published his life story, “Wrangling Snakes, and Other Reminiscences of an Idaho Teacher,” in which he chronicles his life as “an amazing plethora of opportunities.”

Terry was diagnosed with cancer just a few days ago and was immediately put into hospice care. While there, he quickly put his affairs in order and said his good-byes to those who were able to visit. Terry’s legacy will live on through the Found Money Fund of Idaho, a scholarship in the College of Education, and the many, many people he inspired.

At Terry’s and the family’s request, memorials may be made to The Terry Armstrong Classroom for Science Education.  This classroom will be dedicated to science teaching innovation and excellence in the upcoming renovation of the College of Education Building.  For more information on contributing to the Terry Armstrong Science Education Classroom, contact Tammey Boston at 208-885-7476, or