The Armours lost their only children in a car accident and credit God and the support of their community with helping them through.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Armour family home, which sits on a quiet side street on the city's East Side, is well manicured with plenty of flowers and plants, beautiful landscaping and a gazebo standing to the side for family summer outings.
On nicer days, Frank and Helen Armour can be seen sitting on the porch or busy elsewhere in the yard. It is inside the home on Scioto Street, however, that holds evidence to the tragedy that has befallen the couple in the last weeks.
The living room is filled nearly to capacity with fresh flowers from friends, family and co-workers, leaving hardly any room to sit. Extra chairs had been arranged in several rooms and freshly baked goods are laid out buffet style on tables in the dining room ready for the many visitors coming to the house.
Grieving: Those things are all reminders of the beginning of a long mourning process for the couple's only two children, whose pictures hang from every wall -- the two children they lost in a car accident about two weeks ago.
Adrienne Armour, 32, and April Armour, 28, were involved in a one-car accident Aug. 31 on state Route 11 near Tibbetts-Wick Road. Adrienne Armour was killed instantly. April Armour died six days later in the hospital. The sisters were laid to rest in combined services Sept. 8.
Helen Armour, sitting in front of a grandfather clock with large pictures of her daughters on either side, fights back tears as she remembers the morning she learned of the accident.
"When the police knocked on my door at five o'clock that morning, I knew one of them was dead," she said. "They were so close, always so close. I knew when they said Adrienne died that April would want to go with her, but she lived for six more days.
"I just miss them so much. They were really good girls and would always take me anywhere I had to go -- they just called it driving Mrs. Daisy," she added with a slight reflective smile.
Since the time of the accident, Frank Armour said prayer and strong faith in the Lord have been the driving force behind the family. He said it is important that the family not question God's will, but take solitude in the fact that both their daughters were of good nature and people they could be proud of.
Proud parents: By all accounts, the parents had much to be proud of in their daughters. As children, neither of the girls gave the couple any problems and were academic achievers at East High School and involved in various school activities such as cheerleading. Both were members of Mount Zion Baptist Church and its choir.
April Armour attended Youngstown State University before going to work for General Motors Lordstown Assembly Division. Adrienne Armour, a registered nurse, attended YSU then graduated from St. Elizabeth School of Nursing. She was a nurse with Select Hospital at St. Elizabeth Health Center.
The couple is now moving forward rearing their grandchildren -- April and Adrienne Armour each had one child -- who they say are holding up fairly well, though there are bouts of crying.
Frank Armour said one key factor in being able to cope with the loss is the tremendous outpouring of support from the community, for which they are grateful. He said the best advice he could give to others who may be grieving is to remain prayerful.
"Right now as we are mourning, the entire country is mourning with the tragedies in New York and Washington and I know what those families are going through, but it is important to remember that prayer is what can help," he said. "I know what prayer has done for us."
Helen Armour said nothing should be taken for granted.
"Cherish every day because tomorrow is just not promised to us," she said.