On a cool day in November, the 20thto be exact, the year was 1942 in Mulga, AL when Edward Armstead Jr. was born to Viola and Edward Armstead Sr. He was the eldest of his nine siblings. He was affectionately known as Jr. to his family, Alabama to his friends, and back in the day as Eddie Hill to his fans.
Edward Jr. spent his formative years in the Mulga school system attending both Mulga Elementary and Westfield High School. After high school, Edward Jr. did a short stint of 18 months in the United States Army. Upon leaving the Army, he relocated with his family to Detroit, MI. There, he met and married Elaine Thomas and they were blessed with six beautiful children. He was employed at the Budd Plant where the body of the iconic two-seat Ford Thunderbird was built and assembled.
Edward Jr. accepted Christ in his early years. He also realized that he could sing! He loved performing and recorded several songs including “Baby I Cried” and “Nothing Sweeter.” Back in the day, Edward opened for Motown. Check them out on YouTube (Eddie Hill).
In his latter years, he made Tacoma, WA his home. While there, the singing bug bit him again! He began singing karaoke at Oaktree Food and Drink Company in Lakewood, WA where he became a regular and a favorite!
After a brief illness, the Lord called him home on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019 at 12:09 p.m. in Virginia Mason Hospital, Seattle, WA. He was preceded in death by his parents Viola and Edward Sr.; two brothers, Marvin and Melvin; sister Arwilda; as well as a son named Mark. Cherishing his memory and celebrating his life are six loving children, 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, all in Detroit, MI; and four additional siblings with sister Sandra J. Banks living in Tacoma, WA.
A soul food potluck/Asian dinner party Celebration of Life for Edward Jr. will be held on Thursday, Nov. 14, 6-9 p.m. at Ray Gibson’s Caballeros Social Club, 1516 S. 28thSt., Tacoma, WA 98409. A musical karaoke tribute to “Alabama” will follow.
For more information, call Barbie or Jean at (253) 309-0892.