Dennett, Armistead

Birth Name Dennett, Armistead
Gramps ID I1001
Gender male
Age at Death 95 years, 10 months, 9 days


From his online obituary

KITTERY, Maine - Armistead Dennett, 95, died, surrounded by family, on Wednesday, September 6, 2017, in Kittery, Maine. He was born in Washington, DC, on October 28, 1921, the son of Lt. Cmdr. Ralph E. Dennett USN of Kittery, Maine, and Elizabeth Armistead of Churchland, Virginia. He moved with his family to various duty stations around the U.S., returning to Kittery when his father retired.

At age 16, after attending schools in Kittery and in Portsmouth, N.H., he was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in December 1941. His first duty assignment was to a new destroyer, Benson, serving as escort of North Atlantic convoys to the British Isles, and later in support of Allied invasions of Sicily and Salerno. He next served on the destroyer Haynsworth in the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, where it was struck by a Japanese Kamikaze aircraft.

Near the end of World War II, he was assigned to post-graduate study at the Naval Postgraduate School in Annapolis, and Purdue University. Following graduate school, he served a tour in the antiaircraft cruiser Juneau, the first American ship to engage in the Korean affair. He commanded the newly commissioned destroyer escort Woodson until 1952, when he reported as Executive Officer of the Fleet air Defense Training Center at Dam Neck. His subsequent duty was on the staff of the United States Commander-in-Chief, Europe, at St. Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, France. Early in 1957, he was ordered to be the Executive Officer of the amphibious attack transport ship USS Fremont in the Mediterranean, landing marines in Beirut. Commander Dennett returned to the United States to assume command of the destroyer Wallace L. Lind.

After assignment at the Naval Ordinance Laboratory in White Oak, Maryland, Armi requested retirement from the Navy and accepted a position at NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center, later renamed the Johnson Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas. There he joined the Apollo Spacecraft Program Office (ASPO) Systems Engineering Division in which he chaired the inter-center Crew Safety Panel. He was heavily involved with the Marshall Space Flight Center on the Saturn booster and Apollo spacecraft interface design. He participated in the Apollo 1 Accident Review. He served 18 years in support of the Apollo lunar landing missions and later space missions, including the first US-Russian in-orbit docking mission (Apollo Soyuz Test Program). He traveled extensively to Star City, heading three delegations there for crew training, while also supporting interface between the Apollo spacecraft and Skylab. During the Space Shuttle Program, the ATSP team became the Shuttle Cargo Integration Office; he worked largely on crew interface provisions (some of which his eldest son used supporting STS missions).

In 1980 he retired after 40 years of civil service and returned with Louise to Kittery, joining his father in preservation and care of the now 300-year-old family farm. In addition to embarking on what would become many years of adventurous travel by military transport, land and sea, they became actively engaged in numerous community non-profit organizations and activities, including the Piscataqua Pioneers, the Portsmouth Athenaeum, the Propeller Club of Portsmouth, the Friends of the Rice Public Library, and St. John's Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, where he and Louise served regularly at its community lunch program, The Common Table. He was also secretary of the Kittery Conservation Commission for nine years, and actively involved for years in attempting to convert the Sagamore into a training vessel so at-risk youth could participate in a one-of-a-kind educational sailing experience.

Armi is survived by Louise Howard Dennett, his wife of 71 years; his daughter Sarah and her husband Alan Miller; sons Peter Armistead Dennett and his wife Robin, and William Howard Dennett. He is also survived by eight grandchildren – Sarah's children: Jonathan Dennett Miller and his wife Sasha, Mark Dennett Miller, Elizabeth Anne Miller Ellis and her husband Mike, Peter's children: Anderson Dennett and his wife Ashli, Weatherly Dennett Medina and her husband Gabe, Will's children: Caroline Dennett, Oren Dennett, and Grace Dennett – as well as two great-grandchildren, Gavin and Camden Medina. He was predeceased by his brother William A. Dennett.

Armi loved to sail; with friends and family, day-sailing or racing, in local waters or far beyond – both as a boy with his family yacht "Caribou" and as an adult in his own boats "Tern" and, later, "Unicorn." In Texas he was an active member of the Galveston Bay Cruising Association, and in Maine he was a friend of the Kittery Point Yacht Club.


Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth [E1311] 28 October 1921 Washington, DC, United States of America   1a
Death [E1312] 6 September 2017 Kittery, Maine, United States of America   1a

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    1. Dennett, Armistead

Source References

  1. Online Obituary [S0039]
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