The Passing of Ralph Armstrong

To the Williams community,

I am sad to share the news of the death of retiree Ralph “Sonny” Armstrong of Florida, Mass. Ralph, who served as a custodian for nearly 27 years, died July 10 at age 78.

Ralph began his employment at Williams in 1975. During his time as a custodian, he worked in the Carter and Bryant houses. He was known for his good sense of humor, and those who worked with Ralph also remember him as a highly meticulous and efficient person. In fact, he developed a routine for his custodial duties that allowed him to move through buildings using the least number of steps—a system that was adopted by other custodians. Ralph was also an avid pool player who enjoyed playing with his co-workers during lunch breaks. He retired from Williams in 2002.

Ralph is survived by his wife, Florence, and his two daughters, Barbara Arigoni and Brenda Armstrong-McVinney.

A graveside committal service for Ralph will be held on Saturday, July 21, at 9 a.m. in the Florida Church Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to attend. There will not be a reception following the burial. For information or to leave a message of condolence for the family, please visit

Our thoughts are with Ralphs’s family and friends.


Maud S. Mandel
Professor of History; Program in Jewish Studies