Michael David Arm

Obituary for Michael Arm

Michael “Mike” Arm passed away on December 28, 2017 after a short battle with cancer. He died at his home in Herndon, Virginia, surrounded by his family.

Mike was born on May 24, 1950 in New York City, New York. He attended high school at the prestigious Bronx High School of Science in New York City and graduated in 1968. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from George Washington University in Washington, DC in 1972. He then obtained a Master’s Degree in Computer Systems from American University in 1976. He worked as a programmer at Geico for several years. In 1978, he began work as a systems analyst at Northrup Grumman, where he worked for 33 years. He retired in 2011, the same year that he became a grandfather. He enjoyed travelling, having gone to England multiple times, Italy, and many locations throughout the US. He also enjoyed travelling with family to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. He had a passion for Blues music, photography, cooking and puns.

Mike was born with an eye condition called congenital nystagmus, which causes the eyes to move involuntarily, resulting in some degree of vision loss. Mike was one of the first people to undergo a new surgical procedure to reduce the eye movements and improve vision. He was able to get his driver’s license for the first time at the age of 50. He served on the board of The American Nystagmus Network (ANN), serving as treasurer and webmaster from 2001-2015. He mentored thousands of people with nystagmus, and encouraged others by sharing stories about his successes in life. He also served on the board as treasurer of the homeowner’s associations in his neighborhoods in Herndon and Falls Church. He was a devoted “cookie dad” for his daughters’ Girl Scout troops and enjoyed camping with the troops, as well.

Mike is survived by his wife, Valerie, of 44 years; his daughters Jessica, Laura (Ben Nguyen), and Rebecca; his grandsons, Liam (6) and Ethan (3); his step-mother Beverly Arm; his sister Kathy Schwartz (Alan) and his brother Robert Butler. He will also be missed by his Aunt Sheila Hudes, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He is predeceased by his mother Barbara Wassmann, his father William Arm, and his step-father Robert Wassmann. 

Family and friends will gather at Adams-Green Funeral Home (721 Elden St. Herndon, VA 20170) on January 6th, 2018, for a visitation at 11:00am, followed by a memorial service at 12:00 noon. He will then be laid in his final resting place at Chestnut Grove Cemetery in Herndon. Memorial donations in lieu of flowers can be made to The American Nystagmus Network (ANN) or the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF).

American Nystagmus Network (ANN):

American Nystagmus Network, Inc.

303-D Beltline Place, #321

Decatur, Alabama 35603

Attn: Membership


Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF)

1411 K Street, NW Suite 800 

Washington, DC 20005