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Armstrong's brother talks to Kiwanis

Staff writer

Marion resident Dean Armstrong, brother of astronaut Neil Armstrong — the first man to set foot on the moon — shared memories of growing up with Neil and his fascination with space during Marion Kiwanis’ Sept. 11 meeting.

Kiwanis has tapped Armstrong and his family to be grand marshals of the Sept. 29 Old Settler’s Day parade. He, his wife, Kate, children, and grandchildren will lead the Old Settlers Day parade in a space shuttle float and a trailer with the great-grandchildren riding on the float dressed as astronauts.

Marion High School history teacher Grant Thierolf asked Armstrong questions about his brother during the Kiwanis program.

Thierolf said the lunar landing was a moment people can tell you where they were when they heard about it.

“This generation doesn’t have that moment when they remember where they were,” Thierolf said.

Armstrong shared family memories of his brother.

When Apollo 11 lifted off at Cape Canaveral July 16, 1969, Dean found himself seated next to Charles Lindbergh, who made the first nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927.

After his return from the moon, Neil sent his parents a piece of the heat shield used by Apollo 11.

“I’ve got it,” Dean said. “Later, he went on a tour to visit with children around the world, and they gave him presents. I’ve got some of them.”

Dean described his brother as a “very humble” man who tried to help people whenever he could.

Neil Armstrong often visited Marion and the brothers played golf at Marion Country Club, Dean said.

Last modified Sept. 18, 2019

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