Pioneering Mathematician Katherine Johnson Will Be Laid to Rest Saturday at Hampton University

US President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to NASA mathematician and physicist Katherine Johnson at the White House in Washington, DC, on November 24, 2015.
US President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to NASA mathematician and physicist Katherine Johnson at the White House in Washington, DC, on November 24, 2015.
Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM (AFP)

Katherine Johnson, whose exploits as a pioneering NASA mathematician were immortalized in the 2016 film Hidden Figures, will be laid to rest at Hampton University.

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WTKR3 reports that as part of the two-day commemoration, a public viewing will take place Friday at the O.H. Smith & Son Funeral Home from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., then continue at Carver Memorial Presbyterian Church in Newport News, Va., at 5 p.m. Immediately afterward, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated will conduct an Ivy Beyond the Wall ceremony at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Johnson’s life and legacy will be celebrated at Hampton University’s Convocation Center, with services scheduled to begin at 11 a.m EST.

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Johnson is remembered as a trailblazer whose calculations of orbital mechanics, trajectories and launch windows helped astronauts such as Alan Shepard, the first American in outer space, and John Glenn, the first American in orbit, complete their missions. Over the course of her 35-year career at NASA, she also became one of the first black women to work as a NASA scientist and played an essential role in the development of the Space Shuttle program.

Other career achievements for the celebrated scientist and mathematician include receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2015 and accepting both the Silver Snoopy Award and NASA Group Achievement Award in 2016.

Born on Aug. 26, 1918, Johnson passed away at 101 years of age on Feb. 24.

She is survived by her two daughters, six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

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For those interested, a public guest book is available to pay your respects.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.

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johnbeckwith
B'dilliBay

Hard to believe this was not even five years ago. Now we have Trump giving one of these to Rush Limbaugh like he’s tossing rolls of paper towels at hurricane victims.