Memorial Spaceflights

Gloria Rosalind Knowlan

"One To Beam Up"
1924 - 2011

Gloria was born Gloria Rosalind Franks in 1924 in Olympia, WA, and raised in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

She was second of five children, living on a small farm near what is now 54th and Kerr St. in Vancouver. She became caregiver for her older brother and three younger sisters when her father died just before her ninth Christmas. She stayed in school until Grade Nine, then quit, gave up her dreams, and got a job to help support her mother and siblings. She never complained about that sacrifice; the story only came out from her sisters. She worked during the Second World War at the Boeing factory in Richmond, BC.

She married Edward Knowlan in 1944, and soon after, they welcomed their first child into the world.  Seven more children followed (for a total of five girls and three boys) over the next 19 years, after which twelve grandchildren and two great-grandchildren joined the ranks.

The early years were difficult, but after Ed started his own business, things improved. One by one, the kids became adults and moved out or went to college or university, while some moved away from formal education and cut their own paths. No matter what, Gloria was supportive equally to her children as they moved ahead in their lives, never interfering, often offering sage advice.

She made sure her children learned how to take care of themselves, teaching both boys and girls to cook, wash clothes, sew, iron, and even fix their own bicycles. When Ed complained about her teaching "women's work" to the boys, she explained that she didn't want to raise "helpless men." She was ahead of her time.

After fifty-seven years of marriage, Ed passed away, leaving Gloria a widow and on her own for the first time in her life. Her pragmatic views on death gave her strength to overcome the loss and move on solo. She sold the family home, bought a nice condo, and was her own woman. A car was purchased for her, and she was fully mobile, fully independent, and let herself enjoy every moment in her own way.

Her interest in all things Star Trek had taken hold prior to Ed's death. She soon became avid about it. She attended Star Trek conventions, collected posters and cards, and even had Star Trek ornaments on her Christmas tree, including one that plays a recording of Leonard Nimoy as "Spock" wishing everyone "Happy Holidays." She made sure everyone who came to visit heard the greeting.

After a computer and internet connection were provided for her, she became an avid web surfer, searching out her favorite curiosities in all things paranormal, space-related, and music-related.  She ordered books on cosmology, string theory, etc. She looked up her favorite artists on YouTube, including Alan Parson's Project, Ambrosia, The Beatles, and Pink Floyd, as well as opera, musical theatre and a wide variety of rock, pop and classical.

Gloria firmly believed in reincarnation and openly viewed her time on Earth as temporary. As she neared the end of her life, she spoke with excited glee about what the "next stop on her journey" was going to be.

Although Gloria hadn't chosen the Celestis flight, we (her children) are confident that she would have been thrilled to know this journey, to boldly go where no woman has gone before, was ahead of her.

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