GERALD LEE (JERRY) ARMES 1942-2019 In loving memory of Jerry Armes who passed away unexpectedly one year ago today. He was born on October 30, 1943 in Washington, Indiana and died May 30, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. His parents were Roy Harold Armes and Catherine Mae Albin Armes. Except for a short time in Evansville, Indiana, Jerry grew up in Washington and attended Washington schools. He graduated from Washington High School in 1960. As a boy, he was fascinated by ham radio and built all his own equipment from used parts. This morphed into an interest in computers, which he began exploring in the early 60's in college. In 1964 Jerry graduated from Rose Polytechnic Institute (now Rose Hulman Institute of Technology) with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He later added to his engineering education with a Masters in Electrical Engineering at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. In 1965 Jerry married his high school sweetheart, Patricia Sue (Patti) Powers Armes, also of Washington. Their marriage of almost 54 years was a true partnership, beginning at a time when that was not common. Jerry first worked for Delco Radio in Kokomo, Indiana a division of General Motors, where he received a patent for an antenna tester. A move first to Orlando, Florida at Martin Marietta, and then Dallas, Texas at Texas Instruments took him away from cars into the defense industry. While in Orlando, Jerry and Patti bought a boat and passed many happy hours skiing and exploring the intracoastal waterways. Jerry spent the next few years in Dallas designing laser-guided weapons. A desire to move away from defense sent Jerry and Patti, along with their 3-year-old daughter, Jenni, to Austin, Texas, where both pursued master's degrees at the University of Texas. While working on his MBA, Jerry also taught statistics at UT and Finance at St. Edwards University. Upon graduation Jerry and Patti considered themselves lucky to both find good jobs in Dallas in 1975. At Rockwell International in Dallas, Jerry found his lifelong career love in telecommunications, combined with marketing and business. While working at Rockwell, he began to travel internationally pursuing opportunities in the satellite arena in Latin America. During this time, Patti and Jerry discovered a love for New Mexico which continued throughout life. In the early days, there was camping and hiking. In later years Christmases in Santa Fe were a special family time. In 1980 Jerry decided to start a telecommunications spectrum planning business. As CEO, he and other talented engineers grew the company to a staff of 250 technical employees. Spectrum was sold in 1988 and its core business still exists today within a much larger company. As he did not want to retire at age 45, he started a small engineering firm called Aurastar Information Systems to pursue mainly international telecom consulting, training, and specialized software projects. After cancer surgery, Jerry and Patti, who also had a technical background, downsized and continued Aurastar as a small consulting firm. In the latter years a primary client was a Texas company, Lockard and White. In 2017 Jerry and Patti moved to Las Vegas, bringing the consulting business with them. The move to Las Vegas was made to be near their daughter, Jenni and two grandsons. Jerry loved technical work and was a self-learner to the end of his life, a trait that started with ham radio in childhood. He couldn't imagine retiring and moving away from the technical arenas he loved. Jerry is survived by his wife, Patti, his daughter, Jennifer (Jenni) Ruckle, her husband Clyde Ruckle, and grandsons Kyle and Ethan Ruckle. He is also survived by his sister, JoAnn McCracken of Washington, Indiana and David Armes of Kennesaw Georgia. Another brother Gordon Armes preceded him in death in childhood. Jerry was very much loved and is missed every day by his family.
Published in Las Vegas Review-Journal on May 30, 2020.