Armbrusters get joy out of the little things
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 9:00 PM
I've known this week's couple for several decades, but not really sure when I met them. I do know when I got to know them well is when their daughter Tina was my page at the Crawfordsville District Public Library. Love that girl. She was really beyond a page; I could trust her to do anything amazingly well, be it put my books away or do a story hour. Certainly, Tina got her hard work ethic from her folks, Don and Janet Armbruster.
Don grew-up in Lawrenceburg with four brothers in what he called the "ideal home," where everyone supported and loved each other. There wasn't much money but they knew the bills were paid and food was on the table. It was a known fact in Don's family that each of the boys would go to college to make a better life. His father basically said, "It's your choice of what and where you'll study and just how you'll get there, but you're going." The five boys indeed did, all graduating from Purdue. Don had worked in a clothing store during high school and saved his money for college, but had only planned on a two-year degree. However, as he finished his projects and helped others in class, it was clear that he wished to teach others. So, after his four years, graduating in Industrial Education, he came to teach at CHS, retiring after 34 and a half years.
In the meantime, Janet grew up in nearby Jamestown, she too having only brothers, one older, one younger. Definitely, lots of boys! In high school, she noted that she was a band geek and was in several clubs. She graduated 2nd in her class as daughter Tina did, also. Don did, too, only he said there were 82 others tied for it. As you can see, one of the reasons I always enjoy talking to the Armbrusters is their humor and we had lots of laughs as we sat in their oh-so beautiful and comfy home, built by Don. Janet said, "He built it from the paper up!" Several garages and homes in our area were built by Don, too, while doing construction in the summers.
When Janet graduated from ISU and went to teach at CHS, well, love bloomed, and they were married over 42 years ago at St. Thomas in Lafayette. When the three young Armbrusters headed off to school, Janet did some sub teaching, later going to work for CERES, then retiring after 20 and a half years. Although not big travelers, one of their favorite trips was a day cruise on the Chicago River where of course, they saw a lot of architecture, including seeing Ceres, the "Goddess of Grain." Vacations often center on viewing awesome buildings. Future plans are to go to Hershey, Pa.
As with many jobs, teaching is definitely a learning experience. One possibility Don pondered was what would be his reaction and how would he handle things if one of the Industrial Arts boys desired to date Tina. Well, he never had that problem. However, in a similar situation, he did have an Industrial Arts gal come to ask his opinion on how to get the interest of a boy she liked. Thinking it was a fellow in their class, he queried her and found out number one, the boy didn't go to CHS (South instead) and number two, the boy was son, Barry. Usually a smart fellow, Don didn't see that one coming! Comments received about Don's teaching center on him being very nice and quiet. The nice I can see, the quiet not so much!
I've mentioned Tina and Barry. Tina lives in Dublin, Ohio and is married to Jonathan Wray who works for Time-Warner while Tina enjoys her part time job in a wine shop. The Fort Wayne area is where Barry, a Vice President of Nichols Advertising Agency and his wife, Linda, a third grade teacher live. The two Armbruster grandchildren belong to Barry and Linda. The Armbruster's other lovely daughter is Lori , who works in Indianapolis at Closure Systems International (CSI) and also sells Lia Sophia Jewelry.
Playing Words With Friends online with their children gives Don and Janet great entertainment. It has opened their eyes that their 1960 dictionaries are definitely outdated because the kids (especially Barry) use words which they've never heard (and both with Master degrees, too). Janet said only occasionally do she and Don win. A few television shows are on their agenda (Castle, White Collar, Antique Road Show and the House and Garden Channel) but really, they enjoy each other, walking. doing puzzles and just making everyday life fun.
Don doesn't have lots of extra time since retiring from teaching, as his part time job at Home Depot keeps him busy, but he does enjoy being on the Oak Hill Cemetery board. Janet is a FISH volunteer and has been pondering another aspect of volunteerism, but isn't sure what she wants to do. Working in her home is truly what Janet adores doing and the Armbruster abode shines with love. Thank you both Don and Janet for sharing your day with me and lives with us!