Horse lover, photographer, engaged citizen, world traveller, social worker, ski instructorPosted: October 18th, 2018
Stuart George Armstrong, 75, died peacefully in his sleep, in his home in Pemberton, on 10th October 2018.
Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Stu’s first career was social work, where he worked in child protection services in Saskatoon and Vancouver. A side passion for skiing and ski instructing morphed into his second career. He spent 30 years working full-time at the Whistler Mountain Ski School, later the Whistler Blackcomb Snow School, with a brief enjoyable foray in Deer Valley, Utah. He was ranked the number one privates instructor at Whistler and featured in Ski magazine’s top 100 ski instructors in North America for his patience and commitment to his students.
Stu had a knack for seeing what made people tick but he became increasingly passionate about learning the nuances of equine psychology, and could hold court on the awesomeness of horses, and his beloved mare, for entire stretches of conversation.
He attributed the discovery of a carcinoid tumor in his lower intestine in 2009 to his horse, after a throw sent him to emergency and a CT scan to check for spinal damage revealed a small unexpected mass. He beat the odds, recovering from cancer, but remained a vocal appreciator of the Canadian health care system and particularly of the local Pemberton medical clinic’s ER team.
Stu was predeceased by his father, Stanley, in 1970, and his mother, Elsie Blanche Johnston (Slater), in 2014. He is survived by his mare, Duster “Sassy Jones,” Pemberton’s horse community, the ski school community, his half-sister Arian Gonzales (Richard), nieces Marisol and Andrea and grand-nephew Neilan, of Albuquerque NM; cousin Lisa Tinker, of Los Angeles CA; and his extended Slater family in Saskatchewan.