Kellie (Biggs) Armijo, who touched the lives of so many with her kindness, drive and generosity, died Sept. 23 at the Sherman Hospice Home on the campus of Mayo Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.
Kellie, 63, who lived in Gilbert, Arizona, is survived by her heartbroken husband, Mark; brother Michael Slaughter of Memphis, Missouri., sister Brooke Sagerty of St. Charles, Missouri; and brother Brian Biggs (wife Lisa, daughter Sydney) of Mars, Pennsylvania; step-mother Karen Biggs of Memphis, Missouri; stepsons Crispen (wife April) of Fayetteville, Tennessee and Darren of Huntsville, Alabama; three grandchildren (Isabella, Alexandria and Madelyn of Fayetteville, Tennessee); and many nieces and nephews, which include Riley Sagerty of St. Charles, Missouri; Brett Sagerty of St. Peters, Missouri; Randi Slaughter of Destin, Florida; and Ryan Slaughter of Columbia, Missouri.
Despite many mountains to climb during her last few years, she never believed there was one too steep. She always had hope, even when there seemed to be no hope. To her, it was always about keeping her faith intact. “Just one day at a time, hon,” she would often say. “I have faith.”
Kellie had everything. And in her most trying times, she had undeniable courage.
Kellie worked in the health care industry for more than 40 years and throughout her life was an inspiration and mentor to many co-workers and friends. She had a sweet, infectious smile and harnessed a commitment to be an endearing friend to anyone. An outpouring of support from countless friends and family shows how admired and loved Kellie was and still is.
Kellie always made her family a priority and made certain never to miss sending birthday cards to everyone in it, including all her many nephews and nieces. She was an avid reader and loved the Harry Potter books, re-reading most of them twice.
She enjoyed visiting craft and antique shops, watching the Hallmark Channel and taking her many vacations to New England. She loved cheering for the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals, but also became an ardent fan of the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots.
Kellie was born in Kirksville, Missouri, and spent much of her life in Memphis, Missouri, where she attended Scotland County High School. She was a high school prom queen and a baton twirler in the marching band. She played on the tennis team and also participated in track.
She was a member of the drama and art clubs, and also a member of the Future Business Leaders of America. Kellie, who worked as a waitress at Keith’s Café while in high school, was sophomore class treasurer and vice president in her senior class. As a senior, she also received a Fire Department Citizenship award and was a member of the yearbook staff.
Kellie and four high school classmates (Susan Johnson, Mary Onken, Merri Atwater, Donna Howard) called themselves SMDK. Whenever the song, “The Hustle,” was played on the car radio, they would jump out and start dancing to the music. It was a girl thing.
Kellie attended Robert Morris College in Carthage, Illinois, where she studied to become a medical assistant and began a long health care career that included several managerial positions. She worked in Columbia, Missouri before later moving to Phoenix, Arizona.
She met her husband at a rodeo in Prescott, Arizona and it was love at first sight. They were married for nearly 30 years.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Donna (Hunt) Houghton; father, Vaughn Biggs; and brother, Todd Biggs.
As she did so much in life by giving to others, Kellie now will do so in death by donating her body for medical research in an effort to help others.
There will be a memorial service in Memphis, Missouri, at a later date.