Aleshia Mishian Armour entered this world October 25, 1978 to Nathaniel “Eddie” Estes Jr. and Carla Cook. She was a beautiful baby and a light to the world. Aleshia cried about everything! You could look at her and she would cry. Aleshia started her education with Union Baptist Academy, Hill Junior High School and graduated from George Washington High School. During her pre-teen years, Aleshia was baptized at Union Baptist Church in Denver, CO. She remained a devoted Christian throughout her life and was a faithful member of Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church of Denver, CO.
Aleshia, had a passion for education and mentoring young people. Aleshia always told her mother and Mamaw, her great grandmother, in her younger years that she would be the youngest Secretary of Education. Dora Cook, Mamaw, was very instrumental in her upbringing, as the matriarch of the Livingston family, she instilled the value of education. Aleshia was very active in the community. She traveled to Israel during secondary school with a program called Building Bridges. Ms. June Easterling played a key role in mentoring Aleshia and helped her to become an educator. She was involved in the Arts in which she performed in the “Wiz” and as Eveliene, performed in the play “House of Flowers” at the Denver Center for Performing Arts, and was the young Mahalia Jackson in the play “Mahalia’s Song” on Five Points when she was 15 years old. Aleshia was gifted with a voice from Heaven. She used her talents in various ways including singing with the group the Magalirs, singing in church choirs, on praise teams, at funerals and at weddings. She always had a song in her heart that went with her infectious smile.
Aleshia attended Indiana State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in English in 2001. From there she received her Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary English from Winthrop University in South Carolina in 2003. In 2008, she received her Principal/Administrative License from the University of Colorado at Denver. Aleshia’s career in the Cherry Creek School District began in 2003 at Liberty Middle as a Language Arts Teacher. She then moved to Prairie Middle School where she maintained the same position until she transitioned into a leadership role as a Dean of Students. From there, she continued to advance within the O-Zone and became a Dean of Students at Overland High School. Within a year, she was promoted to an Assistant Principal at Laredo Middle School and later Smoky Hill High School. Following her time at Smoky, she was chosen as the principal of Overland High School, which was her greatest accomplishment. She was elated to take on this role and gave her all to the school, her students, and the surrounding community.
In addition to her many accolades in the Cherry Creek School District, some of her life accomplishments include: Spring Conference Presenter –CAMLE (2008), Equity Colloquium Presenter – College Board (2008), Circle of Change Award Recipient – Seeking Common Ground (2011), Distinguished Women of Honor Award – Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church (2014), Parent and Educator Workshop Presenter – Especially Me Conference (2015). Aleshia was the first Black female Principal at Overland High School. Prior to becoming the principal, Overland was the only High School in the district that was not on the “Best High Schools in the U.S.” list. Within in one year of becoming principal, Aleshia was able to bring the school into excellence and it is now on the distinguished list. Earlier this year, Michael and Aleshia were featured in an edition of My Black Colorado as leaders in the community. Aleshia worked hard at encouraging courageous conversations about race and equity within the district and school system. She led her staff through difficult conversations and was open with her students around the topics. She was unapologetic and completely authentic as she shared her truths and stood firmly behind what she believed in and worked for. These accolades are astounding, but every day was an accomplishment for Aleshia Armour. She embodied excellence.
Aleshia became a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority Incorporated in the spring of 2005. She was initiated into the Denver Alumni Chapter in Denver, CO. Her line name was Quench because in her words “I was THIRSTY to be a Delta.” She was number 8 on the line known as 19 Visions 1 Destiny. She served on various committees including the step show committee, the Delta Authors on Tour committee and the Strategic Planning committee. Aleshia was incredibly proud of being a Delta and remained committed throughout her lifetime.
While in college, Aleshia met and married Kevin Cantrell. God blessed their union with two handsome sons, Keaton Eugene and Pryce Anthony. As time went on, they decided they were better as friends and began co-parenting.
Aleshia then met the love of her life, Michael Armour; She was beyond ecstatic! They met at Pappadeaux only 3 days after Mike arrived in Denver for a recruiting trip. The two met in passing. Mike and James Jones III were enjoying dinner as Aleshia and Tami Watkins were entering the restaurant. During dinner, Tami told Aleshia she thought Mike was a really good guy and they should exchange information. After dinner, Aleshia approached Mike with a knock on his car window. The two started dating in 2011 and they married 3 years later at Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church. God blessed their union with Miss Ari Noire. Aleshia was so happy to have a baby girl, her mini me. She devoted her life to her children and set them up for their future education and success, through a path that will surely be followed.
Aleshia, was very confident and she lit up any room when she walked in. If anyone knew how to work a room for any occasion, it was Aleshia. She was always full of joy!
Aleshia was called home to glory on February 28, 2021. She leaves to cherish her beautiful memory, her husband Michael Armour; parents, Nathaniel Estes and Carla Knight Gilliam; stepfather, Gary Gilliam; her sons, Keaton and Pryce, and daughter Ari; brother, Donovan (Kia) Knight all of Aurora, CO; her Bonus Children, Stephen (Tabitha) Fields Dallas,TX, Emmanuel Mclendon Reno, NV, Alicia Tate Dallas, TX, Micah Armour Alanta, GA; grandparents, Nathaniel and Rainey Estes Sr. Denver, CO, and Marcia and Leon Burnette Huntsville, AL; mother in law, Beverly Armour; father in law, Michael Doss; brothers in law, Rossi Walter Jr., Dallas, TX and Aaron Walter Little Rock, AR; aunts Terri (Kenny) Whitlow Huntsville, AL, Tricia McDonald Toney, AL, Cathy (Jeffrey) Lane, Denver, CO; uncles, Monualdai Burnette, Miles Burnette, Marquez Burnette, all of Huntsville, AL;her Godmother, Ardith (Vincent) Gilmore, God sisters, Da’Janai (Tyrell) Smith and Bri’Ana Woods; cousins who she had a special connection with: Deon Estes, Kiondra Mills, Myesha Ray, Tanika (Nik) Scott, LaToya Virdure, Michela Brooks, Joya Burrell, and Sh’Rena Gay; as well as a host of her cousins, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, sorors, and other family and friends.