The City of Westlake’s very own astronaut, Robert Franklin Overmyer, was honored Aug. 23 with an Ohio Historical Marker Dedication in Clague Park.
Col. Overmyer was a two-time veteran of space shuttle flights. He was a 1954 graduate of Westlake High.
Col. Overmyer flew on two space shuttle missions in the early 1980s. He was remembered with the dedication of a historical marker by Mayor Dennis Clough, NASA Glenn Research Center Director James Free and other dignitaries. His wife, Kitty, whom he met at Baldwin-Wallace College, was on hand from their home in Texas to express gratitude for the honor. Also speaking were Dave Pfister and Lysa Stanton of the Westlake Historical Society, Westlake Police Capt. Guy Turner, State Rep. Nan Baker, State Sen. Tom Patton, Cuyahoga Councilman Dave Greenspan and Jenni Salamon of the Ohio History Connection.
A Marine colonel, Overmyer served as the pilot of STS-5 in 1982. It was the first space shuttle mission to be declared fully operational by NASA. He also commanded STS-51B in 1985, a Spacelab mission dedicated to conducting science. Overmyer logged more than 12 days orbiting the Earth prior to retiring from the space agency five months after the loss of the space shuttle Challenger in January 1986.
Overmyer died at age 59 in the crash of a light aircraft he was testing on March 22, 1996. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.