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  Vivian White, Neil Armstrong's assistant, dies

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Author Topic:   Vivian White, Neil Armstrong's assistant, dies
Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-29-2017 05:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Vivian White, who for 33 years served as Neil Armstrong's administrative assistant after he left the University of Cincinnati in 1980, died on Monday (Nov. 27).

Historian and author James Hansen wrote about White in his authorized biography of Armstrong, "First Man."

When he left the university, Neil soon realized that handling his mail on his own was an impossible burden. In February 1980, he rented a small office on Broadway in Lebanon, Ohio, then, "I had my accountant put an ad in the paper, not with my name on it," for an administrative aide.

Vivian White of Lebanon had worked in the local real estate business for twenty-eight years as well as being a part-time secretary for the mayor of Lebanon. Vivian "worked out very well, a very good choice," in part because, as Vivian explains, "I don't ask! That has been my policy all along. You can tell what a private person he is, and I just made a point that I don't ask him anything I don't need to know to do my job."

Of her time with Armstrong, White told a friend, "we worked together for 33 years and never once had a cross word." She also said that "she'd never heard Neil say a bad word about anybody."

White's employment interview in 1980 was conducted across an old card table in Armstrong's bare office. That old card table would serve as his desk for the next 33 years. Nothing in that office would have told you that one of the world's most famous people frequented its spaces.

Throughout her hire, White kept the details of her working relationship with Armstrong private. After Armstrong's death in 2012, a few details did begin to slip out.

Both of them were very aware of the value of Armstrong's autograph. Besides his familiar limitations on autograph requests, which she would police, they took additional steps to keep collectors at bay. For example, in his administrative notes to her, Armstrong used Vivian's initials or name to throw any potential "dumpster diver" off track. She would respond using some other cryptic code they had established, to apparent success.

Per her obituary, Vivian White is survived by her two daughters, Lois and Margie, three grandchildren, four great grandchildren, two great great-granddaughters and several step grandchildren and step great grandchildren.

Panther494
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posted 11-29-2017 05:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Panther494   Click Here to Email Panther494     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
R.I.P.

GACspaceguy
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posted 11-29-2017 05:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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fredtrav
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dss65
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capoetc
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mode1charlie
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Greggy_D
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randy
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MB
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David Carey
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Kite
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David C
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Rick Mulheirn
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Jeff
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Philip
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MarylandSpace
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posted 11-30-2017 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
She was a wonderful person to work for/with Neil Armstrong.

minipci
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AlanC
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Ronpur
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'

413 is in
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Jonnyed
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posted 12-01-2017 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jonnyed   Click Here to Email Jonnyed     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sounds like a nice person. I wonder what kind of cool things she had in her space collection.

stsmithva
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star51L
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Gilbert
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RobertB
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astro-nut
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Mike_The_First
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COR482932
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