Memorial Spaceflights

Daniel Lent

"Turns out, Alaska isn't the final frontier!"
1983 - 2023

Daniel Lent left this world too soon on October 11, 2023, after a courageous five-month health battle caused by a MRSA infection. He is survived by his loving wife, Kristie, whom he married in 2005. They spent twenty wonderful years together, including celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary while Daniel was in the hospital

From the moment he entered this world on July 20th, 1983, it seemed Daniel was destined to be a part of space history. He was proud to have his birthday on the same day as the anniversary of the moon landing. His car was adorned with NASA stickers, his favorite pair of lounge pants had the NASA logo on them, and he was the biggest Star Trek fan on planet Earth. On their second wedding anniversary, Daniel and Kristie went to Las Vegas. He gave her tickets to Celine Dion, and she took him to see the Star Trek Experience, where he proceeded to “fill in” gaps in the timeline they saw while waiting in line. James Doohan (Scotty) was his favorite character. When his wife found out that James Doohan would be on the Enterprise mission, she knew her husband was sending her a sign to fulfill his last dying wish so he could finally experience space with his Star Trek idols.

After graduating top of his class from high school in Billings, MT, Daniel embarked on a mission for the LDS Church in 2003. After returning, he moved to Alaska, where his sweetheart, Kristie, resided. They were sealed for time and all eternity on June 25th, 2005, in the Mount Timpanogos temple. Daniel wasn’t comfortable around most people, but with Kristie by his side, he knew he could be himself. They enjoyed many adventures in Alaska. As amateur photographers, they often spent many cold nights chasing and photographing the Northern Lights. They loved being honorary members of the mushing community, and photographing the Iditarod was one of their annual highlights and traditions. They tried to live in the moment, dance, and travel as much as possible. From photographing the Northern Lights to camping out under the midnight sun and taking trips around many remote areas of Alaska, they were always together.

As a self-proclaimed and proud geek and Trekkie, Daniel enjoyed recreational activities that revolved around his love of sci-fi and space, including cosplaying, reading graphic novels, and watching Marvel and Star Trek movies. He even helped his wife find her own “inner geek “ and got her to watch almost all the Star Trek series. He enjoyed helping her incorporate her wheelchair into her cosplays. The last project he was working on before he got sick was turning her wheelchair into Captain Janeway’s captain’s chair. One thing she will never forget is his devotion to her and how he went out of his way to make sure she was always included in everything they did. He embraced the idea that no matter who you were, what you looked like, who you loved, or what obstacles you had to overcome….you were still a valuable member of the crew. If you were lucky enough to be a member of his crew, he always had your back. 

Daniel enjoyed cooking and loved a good steak and calamari. He was an aficionado of literature and music, favoring Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Terry Pratchett’s works, The Beatles, and Wheezer. Having been taught art by his mother, Judy, Daniel reveled in various art forms but favored watercolor, acrylics, and photography. He was a fervent player of D&D and PC games, including Oregon Trail and Star Trek.

Daniel’s personality was unique, to say the least. His wife often joked that he was like caviar because his sense of humor was an acquired taste. He had a dry sense of humor, often sarcastic, but he was also very loving, and kind. Above all, Daniel emphasized the importance of treating others as one wishes to be treated, not judging others, and remaining open-minded. He relished living in the present moment with the understanding that the future is not promised. Whenever someone would ask how he was doing, he always responded with “Fat and Sassy.” While he would say his greatest accomplishment was his marriage to his wife Kristie, she says his legacy is that of kindness, compassion, bravery, and an enduring love for his family and friends. Although he had trouble relating to most people, for those who he let into his bubble, they got a rare glimpse of a very special man. Daniel Lent was stardust, made human, and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

Daniel was a beacon of resilience and dedication, known for his large-heartedness and unwavering spirit. His memory will continue to inspire and uplift all whose lives he touched so deeply. He lived his years embracing both happiness and hardship with open arms, displaying an inherent strength that will continue to resonate with his loved ones. Daniel's kindness, his infectious smile, his sparkling eyes, and his passion for life will be forever treasured in our hearts. Even though we mourn his loss, we take comfort in the fact that his light continues to shine through the countless lives he has impacted. As we bid farewell to Daniel, we are not saying goodbye, but rather cherishing the memories that he has left behind. His legacy will continue to shine in the hearts of all who knew him, casting an everlasting radiance that symbolizes his incredible life journey. He has a new mission now: to boldly go before us. Live long and prosper, Daniel. For now, one to beam up…until we will meet again.

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