Lloyd Armstrong of Hutchinson remembered – The Hutchinson News


A true visionary, a true historian and a true friend. These themes run strong when people talk about Lloyd Armstrong and his influence on their lives, and it is clear Armstrong truly made a lasting impact on those around him.Armstrong was born in Hutchinson in 1944 and died in Hutchinson 78 years later on Dec. 30, 2022. During the time between, he also lived in Hutchinson, but he didn’t just have an address here — he really lived here. And in fact, Armstrong brought life to Downtown in ways only a man like he could.
“He was a true visionary who was willing to bet on Downtown Hutch,” said Debra Teufel, president/CEO of the Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce. “Not only was he a longtime supporter of the Chamber, but he was a friend to all who knew him, and he greeted folks with a smile and an invitation to sit down and stay awhile. He loved historic preservation, he enjoyed being a part of making our downtown a better place, and we are all fortunate to be able to benefit from his early vision.”
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Armstrong brought that sense of vision and genuine welcome wherever he went. And though he lived in Hutchinson his whole life, he used his closeness as his asset, making his influence far-reaching.
“His spirit of community and investing to make this place better will be forever missed,” said Teufel.
Armstrong’s obituary states, “Lloyd was an avid supporter of downtown development, loft downtown living believer, hot rod enthusiast, member of Radicals car club, loved to tell stories (not sure always true), craft beer lover, but most of all loved and so very proud of his wife, son, daughter and grandkids. He was a lifelong St. Teresa Catholic Church member, historian, and maintenance keeper.”
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These passions of Armstrong’s come up in any discussion of his life, proving his dedication to whatever he set his heart on.
“Anything he wanted to support, he gave it his all and then some,” said Marcy Kauffman, vice president of membership at the Hutchinson Chamber. “He loved bringing others into the fold of loving downtown Hutch and the history.”
Lloyd Armstrong and his wife Anne spent decades attending and supporting community events and helped to instigate the renovation and renewal of downtown into the place we know it today. The Armstrong’s opened their antique shop 14 years ago. It was a perfect vocation for a man who loved history as much as Lloyd did.
“He loved the history of the furniture he would restore,” said Kauffman. “He loved the history of the building he purchased and would just beam when talking about ‘the past’ of his loft.”
Armstrong’s longtime friend, Reno County Commissioner Ron Hirst, said he loved finding and purchasing old wooden-wheeled bicycles. Hirst said he also appreciated “special” furniture and lighting fixtures.
Downtown Development Manager Jim Seitnater worked often with the Armstrongs. He said their enthusiasm and vision coupled with dedication and follow-through proved to be powerful forces for the betterment of the entire city.
“(Lloyd had a) vision for a destination Antique District that would bring both visitors and residents to Downtown Hutch, and as usual Lloyd was right on,” Seitnater said.
The existing businesses were revitalized and new ones were developed. Armstrong Antiques joined in the successful efforts that, according to Seitnater, “were bringing customers and visitors back to an area that was truly blighted before the Avenue A Park was built.”
“But Lloyd’s real mission,” said Seitnater, “was to build a loft in Downtown Hutchinson and show others that it could be done and approved by the city. Thanks to Lloyd’s guidance and [counsel] many others built their loft spaces and today there are over 20 more unique and awesome loft spaces.”
Lloyd’s loft is much more than some rooms on the second floor of an old building. It is a unique and lovingly curated homespace; its décor is a tasteful combination of antique and modern, and its many guests were perhaps a similar combination. Since the building is more than a hundred years old, renovating the loft took some work; yet as per usual, Armstrong and his wife jumped in, and they transformed the space.
And as per usual, the space wasn’t just for them. The loft was often opened for visitors, events and after-the-event-parties. Armstrong was on the team to get Third Thursdays going, and for years, his loft was open to the public on that night “to show what could be done with upper floor spaces downtown and was awarded two Governor’s of Excellence awards from Kansas Main Street for his loft building,” Seitnater said.
One of those after-parties Armstrong held in his loft was for Main Street Hops for TECH.
“He loved that event,” said Kauffman, “And after the first year being a sold-out success with more people in Downtown Hutch on a Friday night than ever, he was glowing!”
With characteristic vision and verve, Armstrong was one of the first business owners to be willing to invest in this new venture — he was already a volunteer and supporter of TECH, although he may have also been swayed by his interest in another aspect of the event, namely the beer tasting.
“The darker the better for Lloyd. He would always buy a case a month ahead of time to work out his food pairings,” Kauffman said. “He loved having the breweries downtown, and I’m not sure if I ever went into one of them without seeing him at some point. He will be missed by so many, and he never lost his passion for Downtown Hutch ever.”
As the Downtown Hutch Rod Run commented on Facebook, Lloyd was “the man with the never ending smile.”
“(He) loved to help and guide others and led by example,” Seitnater said “His actions spoke louder than his words.”
Anyone who speaks of Armstrong speaks of his love for history. They also speak of his vision and insight for the future — and Lloyd Armstrong has forever made his impact in both the past and the future of Hutchinson.

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