Ian Armstrong, an all-league first team flanker on Elsie Allen High School's vaunted rugby squad, died in his sleep of unknown causes Oct. 16. He was 22.
Born Nov. 12, 1990, Ian Stewart Rigby Armstrong was the youngest of four children born to Barbara Rigby and Ronald Stewart Armstrong.
A boy with boundless energy, Armstrong flew around his Rohnert Park home jumping off of furniture and anything he could climb, his sister Mandy Rigby Armstrong of Santa Rosa said.
"He had a knack for launching himself off of everything," she said.
The family moved to Santa Rosa when Armstrong was entering high school and he enrolled at Elsie Allen High School.
Standing slightly taller than 6-feet, 6-inches, Armstrong was convinced to try out for Elsie Allen's celebrated rugby team.
"He was an amazing natural athlete but a guy that laughed a lot," said Alan Petty, the Lobos' rugby coach and athletic director. "He was a very fierce competitor but he was smiling more than he was upset."
"There were games where he was an unstoppable force," Petty said.
In his final year at Elsie Allen, Armstrong was stricken with a severe infection that sent him to the hospital for weeks. Lobo coach Dan Bartholome drove to the hospital every day after practice and talked with Armstrong, Petty said.
"His coaches were awesome," Rigby Armstrong said. "They were super supportive. They were mentors."
After graduating from Elsie Allen, Armstrong began working at Storage Master Santa Rosa where he worked up until his death. His employers mentored him and supported his plans to return to school, according to Rigby Armstrong.
"He liked being valuable," Rigby Armstrong said. "He liked knowing what he was doing."
She recalled the time he bought a bike from a customer who was falling on hard times. That same customer showed up some time later, walking, because his other bike had been stolen.
Armstrong offered to loan his own bike to the man indefinitely, Rigby Armstrong said.
When she got behind on her own storage facility bill in San Diego, Armstrong picked up the phone and paid the bill, not asking for anything in return, she said.
"He literally would do anything for anybody," she said. "He would drop anything all of the time and do anything for you."
If he was asked a favor, his answer was always "No problem," she said.
In addition to his sister, Armstrong is survived by his mother, Barbara Rigby of Forestville; his father Ronald Armstrong of Santa Rosa; his brother Leif Rigby-Piland of Santa Rosa, and sister Kari Rigby Armstrong of Freshwater, Ca.
A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. <NO1><NO>Sunday at the Sebastopol Community Center youth annex, 390 Morris St.
Donations in Armstrong's name can be made to the Lobo rugby team, Elsie Allen High School, 599 Bellevue Ave., Santa Rosa 95407.