Memorial Spaceflights

Richmond Kaliko Ellis, Jr. (Sonny)

"Now you are where you want to be"
1935 - 2009

Sonny was the fire that burst from those rockets on the day he left us behind. He was just that passionate! He always wanted to experience everything to the fullest. He gave of himself with a generosity of spirit, the likes of which will never be seen again. He was the fuel that ignited our hearts and souls to soar. His love bonded us together and made us strong. He was the best of all of us and the one we could least do without, and now our Sonny is gone. He was truly all things to all of those that he loved and we loved him back. If there is any consolation, it is that he departed this world more loved than life itself. I have to believe that Sonny knew that. And he was a husband -- was there a more loyal partner? -- two unique individuals who somehow completed each other. We even spoke of them in the same breath ‹ Karen and Sonny. This miraculous bond that they created is unbreakable even in death. And he was a father -- who worked hard for what he felt was a privilege, cherishing his children. And he was a friend to the rest of us, understanding in ways we didn't even understand ourselves -- our confidant and our counsel -- a beacon in this universe of madness. How do we consider the unthinkable or anticipate the unimaginable, and now that it has occurred, how do we ever go on from here? As we watched you fly your last flight, up, up, and away from us, we knew there would still be so many questions, for you from us, but if we search for those answers by shooting for the moon in our own lives, we will always be with our shining star.

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