It is with great sadness that we share the news that on June 21, 2018, at the age of 84, Janet Shearon Armstrong lost her fierce-hearted battle with lung cancer. She was a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, friend, and a wife of test pilot and astronaut Neil Armstrong.
Janet Elizabeth Shearon was born in Wilmette, Illinois, the youngest of three daughters of Dr. Clarence and Louise Shearon. A graduate of New Trier High School, she then attended Purdue University in the School of Home Economics and was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. In 1956, Jan and Neil married and eventually settled in the San Gabriel Mountains on the outskirts of Lancaster, California. From their home in Juniper Hills, Jan could see her husband flying experimental aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base in the distance. Together, Jan and Neil would move to Houston, Texas for the NASA space program, and afterwards to Lebanon, Ohio. After 38 years of marriage, Jan and Neil divorced and she became a resident of Utah, spending time in Deer Valley as well as St. George. Everywhere she went, she forged lifelong friendships and frequently attended reunions for not only her high school graduating class, but her kindergarten class as well. In 1964, Jan was the founder and coach of the El Lago Aquanauts synchronized swimming team and remained a supporter and advocate throughout her lifetime. Additionally, she was a founding member of the KIT (Keep-In-Touch) group of astronaut wives that have remained close, to this day.
She is survived by two sons Rick and Mark, daughter-in-law Wendy; and also by 6 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren who knew her simply as "Cee Cee". Jan's second child and only daughter, Karen Anne "Muffie" Armstrong, died from a brain tumor at the age of 2 years, 9 months.
Janet received many awards and honors worldwide as a result of her courage and dedication during the American space program of the 1960s. By all that knew her, she will be remembered as a strong, willful woman that always reunited with a warm smile and parted ways with tears. We ask only that you honor her by standing up for that in which you believe.
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Published by Houston Chronicle on Jun. 27, 2018.