Cover photo for Jennifer K. Armstrong's Obituary
Jennifer K. Armstrong Profile Photo

Jennifer K. Armstrong

d. January 1, 2024

Portsmouth- Jennifer (Jen) K. Armstrong, 60, passed away on New Year’s Day 2024 after a rapid decline in health in the last half of 2023.

She was born in Radford, Virginia on September 12,1963 to Amanda (Mandy) B. Armstrong and Grant W. Armstrong.  Due to her father’s military service, she lived many places and eventually landed in Salem, Massachusetts, where she spent the majority of her childhood.  She lived most of her adult life in Portsmouth, NH and treasured being close to her parents and was a beloved community member and neighbor.

She was preceded in death by her mother Mandy and is survived by her father Grant, her brother Chris, sister-in-law Tricia and three nephews – Eric, Kevin and John Armstrong of Madison, NJ.  Other loving family include her aunt Glad & uncle Russ Hatchl, cousins Brian and Adam Hatchl and their families, uncle Ross Armstrong and aunt Christine Winters, all residing in Northern Virginia.

Jen was graduated from Salem High school and received an A.B. in Economics from Colby College and two master’s degrees – an MTS in Religion from Harvard Divinity School and an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

She had a passion for many things including music – playing several instruments (among them the Sousaphone and bass guitar) and singing in many groups as a young adult.  Fitness and gardening were also prominent in her life.  Jen owned her own Personal Training business and competed as a body builder the late 90’s.  She designed and constructed a wonderful butterfly garden in her yard.  All that said, her two greatest loves were teaching and animals.

Jen began her teaching career at Middlebury College in Vermont, but soon found her permanent home in the Philosophy Department at the University of New Hampshire.  Over the last 30 years, Jen taught a variety of courses ranging from logic to environmental ethics to Philosophy of Religion. Independent of the specific course topic, Jen was known for her dedication to her students. Her teaching excellence was recognized throughout her career and exemplified through her 2018 UNH College of Liberal Arts Excellence in Teaching Award!

Jen’s other great love was for animals.  She began her animal companion journey with a rather ill-tempered cat named Phaedrus. Although that experience would have dissuaded many from engaging in any future animal relationships, Jen being stubbornly determined, moved forward with a German Shepherd, rescued several greyhounds, another cat and finally was blessed with Luna, a German Shepherd she had since she was a pup.

A memorial service for Jen will be held in the coming months.  In lieu of flowers a donation may be made in her honor to the NH Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, link at Help Protect Homeless Animals New Hampshire SPCA! ( or the Community Church of Durham, P.O Box 310, Durham, NH 03824.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jennifer K. Armstrong, please visit our flower store.


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