Memorial Spaceflights

John A. Purdy

"Love You to the Moon and Back"
1956 - 2023

John Anthony Purdy, age 67, passed away on June 29, 2023, after a long and difficult recovery from a double-lung transplant in July '22. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and moved to North Redington Beach, Florida, in 2021 after several decades spent in Dallas, TX. He was a programmer, photographer, drone pilot, and business owner with many years of experience in the online and digital media industry.

John was the middle child of seven to Al and Barbara Purdy and lived in the Atlanta, Georgia, area for most of his childhood. A self-described "Jesus freak" in his teen years, he attended Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he graduated with a degree in Theology. While attending college, he also met and married his first wife, Ann McVay, and in 1984 they moved to Dallas, Texas, shortly before the birth of their first and only child, Jackie.

He began exploring photography as a teen, and that interest in visual mediums was apparent throughout his career. He worked as a camera operator at a TV station while in college, and once in Dallas, he worked as a "Multimedia Specialist," designing PowerPoint presentations with interesting graphics and charts at Nortel. From there, during the dot com bubble, he moved into Producer roles at several interactive agencies that developed everything from computer games to websites to other Audio/Visual and IT solutions.

In the spring of 1999, John called Cindy Rodella for a job interview his boss found on; they talked for 2 hours like old friends. She then flew to Dallas for an interview with his company at Icon Interactive. Six months later, they were dating, then six months after that married in September of 2000. They worked at numerous companies together over the next 24 years, then founded Creative Cat Media, Inc. Where they worked together from their home studios for nearly 15 years, they worked side-by-side developing websites and custom programming and producing corporate brochures, videos, artwork, and more.

While he was always excited to be behind the camera throughout the years, it was during this time that he expanded his interest to business and professional photography, and finally, drone photography. In 2017 he earned his FAA Certified Commercial Drone Pilot's license. He wrote and published a children's book called The Adventures of Leonardo the Drone, illustrated by Cindy and featuring a scannable QR code to photos and videos of his drone photography.

John was a cancer survivor, successfully beating stage 3 colon cancer after surgery, chemo, and radiation in 2005. The treatments that helped fight cancer caused lung issues in 2015. It started slowly and finally culminated with a diagnosis of interstitial lung disease and pulmonary fibrosis. John and Cindy moved outside of St. Petersburg, Florida, in 2021; in 2022, he was put on the waiting list for a double-lung transplant. He was on the list for only five days before receiving the call, and on July 6, 2022, he received the gift of a new pair of lungs. His recovery was difficult, however, and he struggled with a number of painful and debilitating setbacks that saw him go in and out of the hospital over the next year. In late June of 2023, while again in the ICU on life support, John let his family know that he was ready to move on and wished to stop fighting a losing battle. On June 29, he passed away peacefully, surrounded by love and family.

John was often a mentor to others and enjoyed teaching and sharing knowledge. A tech nerd and space geek, he was a NASA ambassador. He owned a number of telescopes through the years and loved to stargaze. He loved everything about space travel. In June of 2022, he got a personal tour of NASA – a bucket list item he cherished. Being able to complete his mission on a Celestis flight is a dream come true.

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