Hospice helps local Samaritan

November 27, 2017

Myrt Armstrong treated the most powerful and the most vulnerable as not only equals but one in the same.

After a lifetime of caring for others, Myrt passed away in October 2016, with her family by her side and the same dignity and respect she bestowed on others.

Myrt dedicated her life to advocating for mental health. In 1970, she joined the Mental Health Association of North Dakota as a volunteer and worked her way up to become the organization’s executive director. She worked around the clock, and even brought a suicide hotline to her house, dropping everything to answer when it rang.

She received countless accolades for her work, including the National Caring Institute Award and the Jefferson Award for exemplary public service.

Myrt also volunteered at the Seeds of Hope thrift store, where she developed and ran the Christmas Store. The store raised $60,000 annually for the Abused Adult Resource Center, helping pay for support services for abused women and children.

“She was always a very caring person,” said Myrt’s son Steve Armstrong. “That was just her nature. But as hard as she worked her family was always No. 1 for her.”

When Myrt’s heath took a turn for the worst last fall, Myrt’s family was by her side. Dr. Aaron Vasa, an internal medicine and palliative care physician at Sanford Bismarck, helped Myrt and her family make arrangements for the next steps: at-home care with the help of Sanford Hospice.

“She definitely wanted to be home, the setting of all of our family get-togethers and so many good memories,” Steve said. “We appreciate hospice because it gave her that opportunity to stay at home instead of in a hospital.

“Everyone at Sanford Hospice was just very caring, professional, knowledgeable – letting us know the process to keep mom as comfortable as we could.”

When Myrt passed away, she was surrounded by family in a place she loved. Her family misses her every day.

Hospice helps bring dignity, comfort and compassion to so many in our community. Please consider supporting Sanford Hospice this holiday season.

“Somewhere down the road, you or your family may need hospice,” Steve said. “You may not know how important this service is until you actually need it.”