Space Pioneer Patti Mancini Passes Away
Patsy Freeman “Patti” Mancini passed away peacefully with her son at her side on 14th August 2022 in Thousand Oaks, CA. Patti was born in Bell, California to William Richard Freeman and Elsie Marie Stevens on 17th September 1935. Patti’s life passion was for US space programs, and enjoyed Thoroughbred Horse Racing, playing bridge and golf.
She had a pioneering career with Rockwell International and was the first female vice president the company had. She started with Rockwell early in the Apollo moon landing program, and also worked on the Skylab, Space Shuttle and GPS Satellite programs. Her career progressed rapidly, and by 1978 she was named Vice President of External Affairs and Communications, North American Space Operations. She was responsible for all external affairs including, government relations at the national, state and local levels, media relations, customer and community relations, and executive communications.
She received numerous awards and honors including the NASA Achievement Award, NASA Skylab Achievement Award, NASA Public Service Award, Astronaut’s Achievement Award and many others.
She was also a pioneer beyond Rockwell on broader business issues and community outreach efforts. Patti served on various Board of Directors/Trustees to include: Vice Chairman, California State Horse Racing Board, Downey Community Hospital, California Round Table, National Energy Institute (University of La Verne), California Chamber Music Symphony Society, Aerospace Industry Chairperson – March of Dimes Walk America , Panelist on Conference on Women 1983, Board of Managers Downey Family YMCA, Cerritos College Foundation Board, California Museum of Science and Industry Aerospace Complex – Master Plan Committee, Coordinator for Industrialist of the year 1984 Banquet Chairman and Co-Chair Southern California Private Sector Host Committee – Forum for Women State Legislators Sponsored by Center for the American Woman and Politics, Rutgers University.
Patti is survived by her son The Honorable William Mancini of Los Angeles, his wife, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Patti is preceded in death by her father, mother, husband, three sisters, two brothers and her beloved uncles, aunts and great aunt.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to The Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation, cthfcares.com or The Rocket Center Foundation. rocketcenterfoundation.org
Her family wishes to extend their gratitude to Thousand Oaks Omnicare. Kinga and her team (in alphabetical order) Ann, Dolores, Maria, Paloma and Pam for their unrelenting compassionate care. She knew she was loved and you were genuine in your efforts providing her care. The family also wishes to thank the Buena Vista Hospice team for providing us with guidance and support in her transition. Prior to living with Omnicare, Patti’s glam team Katherine and Deanne would never let her get caught without being put together. And to Shelby Jacobs, you were a great friend to her, checking up on her so often, sharing great stories of your working together and history of the path you endured to live you’re dream of space. Our love to you and Elizabeth.
We love and miss you mom, thank you for the respect and hard work ethics you provided.
Lastly, the quote she kept on her desk was “Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good…. fortunately, this is not difficult.”
Patti’s celebration of life event is being planned and the date will be announced soon.