Former U.S. senator, Colorado college president Bill Armstrong dies

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DENVER — Bill Armstrong, president of Colorado Christian University and a longtime U.S. senator, has died.

Armstrong had been battling cancer in recent years. He died Tuesday at age 79. He had been serving as CCU president since 2006.

At Colorado Christian University, flags flew at half-staff Wednesday in honor of Armstrong.

“If you knew Bill Armstrong, you were one of this family,” said Jim McCormick, a vice president at CCU.

“Bill Armstrong's gift was to stand for truth as he understood it, always in a loving way, excluding no one,” said John Andrews, Armstrong’s longtime friend.

Armstrong represented Colorado in Washington throughout the 1970s and 1980s. He first served in the House from 1973-1979, then he was elected to the Senate where he served until his retirement in 1991.

A Republican, Armstrong was also a member of the Colorado House and then State Senate starting the 1960s.

He is survived by his wife, Ellen, who he was married to for nearly 54 years.

“It is people like Bill Armstrong that remind us all that we must live our lives excellently, in service to God and humanity," said Rep. Doug Lamborn, who represents the same district Armstrong once did.

“Our nation lost a great public servant, whose mark on Colorado and this country embodies the virtues of liberty, faith, and family," Sen. Cory Gardner said in a statement. "His booming voice, piercing gaze, and love of fellow patriots will never be forgotten. So many people in Colorado were brought to conservative ideas and optimism through Senator Armstrong. The United States is a better place because of his grace, humility and boundless spirit.”

A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Worship Center of Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch. Visitation will be held in the Cherry Hills Community Church chapel on from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

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