Robert L. White
June 25, 1928 – March 18, 2020
Robert L. White, 91, former sixty year resident of Sudbury, passed away Wednesday, March 18, 2020, following an illness.
Born on June 25, 1928 in Lynchburg, Virginia, he was the son of Robert and Bessie (Mountcastle) White. Robert was the father of three children, Sharon Memet of New Jersey, Susan Segien of Marlborough, and Robert G. White of Sudbury. Robert was the proud grandfather of Carrie & Luke Memet, Craig & Keith Segien and Jessica White, as well as three great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his adored wife of 42 years, Joan (Poggeman) White, in 1999, and by his younger brother, Donald E. White.
Robert graduated from E.C. Glass High School in 1946 and then went on to enlist in the United States Army. During his time in the army he taught optical and radar systems. In 1951, Robert attended M.I.T. under a G.I. Bill. After graduating M.I.T. in 1955, he went on to work for M.I.T. as an engineer in the Instrumentation Lab. Robert worked with a team on all of the Apollo missions, guidance, and navigation for NASA under the direction of Charles S. Draper. Robert was a member of the Knights of Columbus and was a former board member at Sudbury Swim and Tennis Club for 40 years. Upon his retirement, he was bestowed an Award of Achievement and Lifetime Membership. He was also a proud member of Our Lady of Fatima Church. Robert had accomplished incredible things in his lifetime, and will forever be missed.
Funeral services and interment at Mount Wadsworth Cemetery in Sudbury will be private.
Memorial contributions may be made in Robert’s honor to Salvation Army: salvationarmyusa.org/give
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Robert L. White
June 25, 2020
Looking at my Dads obituary on what would have been his 92nd Birthday it was so nice to see the special memories, prayers and pictures from friends and family. Thank you
His passion was for his family and work in the NASA missions. It was no surprise that he wished a sketch of the Lunar module on his side of the headstone.
April 13, 2020
I had the distinct pleasure of being associated with Bob during my career at the Laboratory. Having just started at the Lab in 1967, I was given the assignment of executing the hardware testing of a program designed by Bob called the lunar surface alignment program or P57 in the Apollo Computer. As I attempted to understand Bob's design, I could not resolve what seemed to me to be a major deficiency in his design. I talked to my boss about my concern and later we both went to Bob’s office to discuss what I thought was the problem. Well, stupid me for once Bob explained the eloquence of his design to me and my boss, it became obvious. Bob couldn't have been nicer in letting this young whippersnapper engineer down in front of his boss although I have always felt slightly embarrassed for one of my more memorable mistakes. I completed my testing task and was then assigned to support mission control at the then Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC now JSC - Johnson Space Center) in Houston for the Apollo missions. Having been associated with Bob's lunar program, as soon as Apollo 11 touched down on the moon, I immediately started my support shift in Houston to monitor the program as it was being executed by the astronauts in the Lunar Module (LM) Eagle. Bob’s program was also used to support the lunar research efforts; specifically, on Apollo 14. The morale of my story? Bob's program is on the moon for every landing from Apollo 11 through Apollo 17, a point I remember when I see the moon in the sky. Ken Goodwin, Houston, Texas
Linda Willis Farmer Willis
March 24, 2020
Our thought & prayers are with the family. Remembering all the family get-to-gathers & family unions where we were able to share time , love & many,many family stories will always remand loving memories
Love, Robert & Linda Willis (I'm Mary Mountcastle's daughter)