First Memorial Funeral Services

1155 Fort Street, Victoria, BC


Ellis Dunbar Armstrong

21 September, 194113 March, 2020

Ellis conducted his departure with dignity on 13 March, 2020 at his home overlooking Beacon Hill Park’s Cricket Pitch, exactly as he had always wished. He has now joined his beloved Barbara who pre-deceased him by 17 years.

Born in Regina, Saskatchewan on 21 September 1941 to Captain (Navy) James Dunbar Armstrong, CD and Arabella (nee Ellis), his first name carried on his mother’s family name and he was blessed with the dreaded Armstrong middle name of Dunbar. As the son of a military officer he learned how to move at an early age, enjoying postings to Halifax, Victoria and Ottawa much the same as many other children in Navy families.

A graduate of Albert College in Belleville, Ontario his gap year took him to Barcelona and Madrid Spain, where he worked on his sketchy Spanish and grew to appreciate cognac. Returning to Canada, he graduated Carleton University in Ottawa with a BA (Commerce). While having grown up and matured in the 60’s, Ellis somehow missed out on the Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Doors and ended up being a Ray Conniff fan. This resulted in his children being raised on “elevator music” instead of rock and roll much to their shared disappointment.

Career wise, his initial work with the Welfare Department of Ottawa enabled him to secure a position at William Head Penitentiary as a Case Management Worker in 1971. The return to Victoria was especially welcome as his parents had retired here. He served with Corrections Canada at William Head for over 28 years and refused a number of promotions that required a posting in order to continue to live the lifestyle that only Victoria offers. During lunch hours while at William Head, he would fish from the dock landing a number of salmon and a record 36 pound Ling Cod which was subsequently published in the Corrections Canada newsletter. All good things come to an end, including fishing, when an inmate used the fishing dock to escape and it irritated Ellis immensely that the dock was not replaced which brought his fishing lunches to an end.

A lifelong audio and technophile, in retirement Ellis appears to have purchased every Apple product ever made and seemed to collect a new flat screen TV each year culminating in the mother of all curved Samsung’s which brought him a great deal of enjoyment.

Ellis is survived by his son, Lieutenant-Colonel Warren Dunbar Armstrong, CD, MA (Captain Charlene Lindsay, CD); his daughter Ann Ruthellen Armstrong, MA, MLIS (Kevin Enomoto); grandsons James Dunbar Armstrong and Ian Joseph Armstrong; brother-in-law Ernie Dugal (Winnie) niece Trish Dugal (Dan, Clara and Jonah); and Cody Lindsay (Kaleena, Taya, Abigail and Aidan).

The family would like to thank Rebecca Littlejohns, RN, Ellis’s private home care nurse who ensured his comfort in his final days. Thank you to the First Memorial Team for their services.

A private family Celebration of Life will be held.

Armstrong Clan Motto: I remain unvanquished.


  • To be announced


Ellis Dunbar Armstrong

have a memory or condolence to add?

Phil Cottrell

April 7, 2020

I remember Ellis very well from Case Management at William Head Institution. A true gentleman and professional in every respect, I'm sorry I didn't see more of him after his retirement. My condolences to his family.

Sherry Edmunds-Flett

April 6, 2020

Mr. Armstrong was my husband Glen Flett's case management officer in Williamhead Institution in the 1980s. He came to our wedding at WHI on June 21st 1987 at the Williamhead Institution chapel. His wedding present to us sits on my bookcase downstairs at my office at home. Mr. Armstrong was a lovely man who supported people in their journeys to change and be productive pro-social citizens in the community. I will never forget his kind and open demeanor and how he took the time to answer the questions of this newly married inmate's wife. It was because of people like Mr
Armstrong that Glen changed his life; when Glen died last October 2019, he could say he was a good man. I can see the two of them chatting away in heaven. My condolences to Mr. Armstrong's family and friends. With respect, Sherry Edmunds-Flett.

Stephanie Hronek

April 4, 2020

Joe and I wish to express our sincere condolences to Ellis' family members. Ellis, although a quiet and private man, was my mentor when I joined the case management team at William Head Institution in the 1990's. He also offered me much emotional support during some challenging times, both in my professional and personal life, for which I am eternally grateful. He was a gentle and kind soul and will be greatly missed. Memories of him will be forever treasured.

Randie Scott

April 3, 2020

I have nothing but the finest memories of Ellis from when I worked at William head Institution from 1986 -1999 where i was Ellis' Unit Manager and then Assistant Warden. Ellis was a consummate professional and provided genuine care to those under his charge. I enjoyed our many conversations about fishing which was a common passion. Rest in peace my friend. My condolences to his family and friends.

Roxanna Denis

April 2, 2020

Dan and I would like to express our deepest sympathy to the Armstrong family following the loss of your father and grandfather, Ellis.
Dan and I arrived at William Head Institution in 1992; Dan as the Deputy Warden and Roxanna as a case management officer. I worked closely with Ellis and found him to be most helpful and supportive in my role as case management officer. He was always a gentleman extraordinaire and always made time to discuss difficult cases if required. I learned very quickly that Ellis was trustworthy and very professional in his role. Ellis was well liked by all of the case management officers, and indeed was respected and liked by all staff at the institution.
Rest in Peace, Ellis.


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