The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Technology management sophomore Ashley Mendoza and communication junior Madeline Sturm work at the MSC Help Desk on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
University classes canceled due to IT outage
An error released in an update to Windows devices has shut down A&M’s technology network
J. M. Wise, News Reporter • July 19, 2024
Texas A&M LB Taurean York (21) speaks during the 2024 SEC Media Day at the Omni Hotel in Dallas, Texas on Thursday July 18, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
A&M predicted to finish ninth in SEC football media poll, three Aggies earn preseason honors
Luke White, Sports Editor • July 19, 2024

Texas A&M football is expected to finish in the middle of the pack in the conference this season, per the SEC football preseason media poll...

Bob Rogers, holding a special edition of The Battalion.
Lyle Lovett, other past students remember Bob Rogers
Shalina Sabih July 15, 2024

In his various positions, Professor Emeritus Bob Rogers laid down the stepping stones that student journalists at Texas A&M walk today, carving...

Chancellor John Sharp during a Board of Regents meeting discussing the appointmet of interim dean Mark Welsh and discussion of a McElroy settlement on Sunday, July 30, 2023 in the Memorial Student Center.
Analysis: Chancellor Sharp’s retirement comes with new dilemmas
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 2, 2024

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced Monday he will be retiring on June 30, 2025.  A figure notorious in state politics,...

Lifelong learner, mentor

 
 

Although he didn’t fit the traditional college student mold, Lorraine Farquhar “Patrick” Armstrong III, 69, became a friend and comfort for many Aggies as he pursued a bachelor’s degree in history.
A lifelong intellectual, Patrick proved that age could not deter a man from his passions. Enrolling at Texas A&M University at the age of 68 after a career in oil fields and the military, Patrick’s one-and-a-half years at Texas A&M showed that life’s obstacles are no match for human will.
“He used to be an amazing skier,” Patrick’s ex-wife Susan Armstrong said. “He developed late-onset asthma and couldn’t ski later on, which was a major regret of his, but he was beautiful to watch on the slopes.”
Patrick’s love for sports extended beyond skiing. He was also an avid aficionado of golf, and enjoyed being present at historic sports moments.
“A favorite memory of his came from working at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics,” said Patrick’s daughter, Lauren Armstrong MacEwen.
Although Patrick spent much of his youth in the snowy hills of California, he went on to serve his country in steamy Vietnamese jungles. Enlisting in the Army at 18, he served for eight years, distinguishing himself many times over.
“He earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam,” Susan said. “As a helicopter pilot, he would fly in to rescue soldiers, and one time his helicopter was hit and he was injured. He had a lot of military people in his family, and his father is a retired colonel. He had great respect for his family and served his country well.”
After leaving the military as a Warrant Officer and piloting instructor, Patrick and his wife set up companies in New Mexico and West Texas, among them a saltwater disposal company, still running today. Patrick was also a motivational speaker for insurance salesmen.
“He was good at everything he set his mind too,” Susan said. “He felt that we were never challenged in life with a problem we couldn’t solve. This helped him professionally, and helped bring hope to friends and family as well.”
Later in life, Patrick returned to the studies he didn’t have a chance to pursue early in life.
“He was a big believer in education,” Susan said. “Not only in schooling, but also learning through life and always gaining new skills. He was especially proud of his daughters, Trish and Lauren, and that they graduated from Texas A&M, so he wanted to do the same.”
Earning a bachelor’s degree can be a daunting task for nontraditional students, but Patrick never let that issue bother him. His love of learning and Texas A&M powered Patrick through difficult assignments and health scares, and proved to be a highlight of his life. Through all this, he managed to work his way onto the Dean’s List while helping fellow students achieve their full potential.
“He always loved Texas A&M and was a diehard Aggie,” Lauren said. “He went to all the home football games, and always talked about getting his degree from A&M.”
Though Patrick never achieved his dream of graduating from Texas A&M, he took pride in seeing his daughters do so, and felt fortunate to attend the institution he loved.
“He believed that the people he knew and loved could accomplish whatever, and encouraged his family and children to go for their dreams,” Susan said. “He was a dreamer.”

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