Memorial Spaceflights

Scott A. Zearley

"My Pops, My Love, My Person. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!"
1957 - 2022

Scott was 65 this past August. He was retired early but was thankful he “made it” to that age.

Born and raised in Iowa, where he spent summers water skiing on the Mississippi river and in his free time, he had a desire to race cars. He wanted to be a formula one driver. He saved all his money from working jobs after school as a stockboy and then finally, after graduating high school, the day finally came. He was strong and determined and left home for a dream. He went to England and found the place he wanted to learn how to race the open-wheeled cars to begin his formula one journey. His dream lasted a whole year. After an accident that made him realize this dream was probably over, he came back home. He was not lost but not sure what was next. His journey found him at a recruiting office when he was going to join the Coast Guard. He saw a friend in the office for the US Marine Corps, and he really encouraged him to go with him to boot camp. That friend helped him make that decision and yes, they went in together, and went into their careers. Scott was a born leader. He was a sharpshooter, strong athlete who looked sharp in his uniform and was tops in all his tasks and physical fitness. He earned his right to defend US Embassies across Europe. He spent several years throughout Europe and did his job very well. When his tour of duty ended in Europe, he found his way into learning a new craft of as a photo interpreter/imagery analyst. He was the king of deployments as he was always gone, helping the aviation squadrons do the good work. When he left the USMC in 1997, He worked in the government contracting world doing the same activities with photo analysis and moved up the ranks eventually becoming a Principal analyst. He taught analysis skills, things like how to use tools of the trade, he mentored others in his field, and most of all, he left an imprint in the world of analysis with his special attention to details he loved to add and was extremely good at.  He met me, his wife while we were stationed together in a joint service environment. I was a US Navy computer tech, and Scott found his computer needed attention quite a bit. We got married after a three-year courtship and this past April they celebrated 30 years together, 27 of those years this past June as married.  I miss you, my best friend.

Sharing an interest of black and white movies, we loved the ones like The Day the Earth stood still, or something with a robot. He thought the robot in that particular movie was so cool. He found his affection for space flight and all things that happen to astronauts, and what they learned what is really ‘out there’.  He watched X files, Star Trek and the generations of those shows, movies about flight and books about the astronauts and their expeditions. We have autographs of Buzz Aldrin, and a painting and autograph of Alan Bean. He even has a piece of the Apollo 11 spacecraft! It’s amazing what one can do when you find it on the internet. He reads all the stories about Russia’s first man in space, the tragic stories of those we lost in space as well as the next generation of space flight. He loved Udvar Hazy center and returned as much as he physically could to take pictures of things he may have missed ‘the last time’ he was there.

He learned about spaceflight for a loved one when he read online about ‘Scotty’ from Star Trek went up. He thought about what was in his will about going to sea, and he wants both. Lately, his last few months were talks about it as he read more and more about it and plainly, he just wanted to go to the moon. He saw the state of things in the world today and wanted to be as far away from politics and all the evil things this world was showing, especially with his complications from cancer diagnoses and complications with compromised immune system. He was a gentle soul. He never got angry and if there was an argument, there usually was no sleep; we did see the sunrise a few times.


I fell in love with the thought of you before I even met you. My Person. My person whom I was supposed to grow older with. My partner in life, love, and humor is now with the stars. He will forever be my guiding light whether I'm on the ocean or in the skies. You made every day worth the breath I had. I'd give anything to bring you back that day. I knew your journey was about to begin, and I think you did, too. Your eyes shared it, and your mind knew. Your body knew. You knew I loved you. You smiled anytime I did something funny or helped in my goofy little jokes about life in general. I remember when I asked you to lift your eyebrows once if you could hear me tell you how much I love you and asked jokingly if you loved me to wiggle them. Then you wiggled them for about 5 seconds… you made me smile so much the nurse even saw it. I miss you, my person. My baby doll. My life with you has always been a journey with paths of both happy and sad. You were diagnosed with cancer, I cried more than you did that day. I don’t want to lose my soulmate. But that fight you so bravely fought to the very end will never be matched. I want your strength. I want your resilience! I want you here by my side. You have a new journey to be my guiding light and I look ever so much to seeing you again. My heart broke that day. I cried all my tears out. I closed your eyes so you could rest, without pain, without worry, without suffering.

I still cry. I talk to you. Did you hear me? Did you see the new pathway to the backyard from the picture I shared? Do you remember the doors you ordered? They look beautiful. I want to make sure they met your expectations. I hung your framed painting in the bedroom and love everything about it. It reminds me so much of you and I and the trips we’d make to the beach or to a place where there are calmer things, like summer sand, or even something slow and beautiful, like a vineyard. Your quick wit, your unmatched spontaneity made my life so full of fun and love. I knew you loved me as I loved seeing those notes, funny old movie clips or stuffed animals in funny pictures. You knew what it took to take the reality of something and make it so worth fighting for. I want to make you proud of me as I make my journey through life. You are my heart, and always will be my Pops, my love, my person.

My soulmate in every sense of the word. So many friends and family say I’ve found my person. It truly was meant to be. We were too much alike, and as we grew old together, I made sure you knew you are loved and cared for as best as anyone could. I tried my hardest to get you the attention you needed and bring you joy and fun in these last few months. Your quick wit and sense of humor always makes me laugh so hard I cry. You are my gem in every sense of the word. Hard as rocks and yet a beauty inside many of us have experienced. Funny thing, you are always asked about by my co-workers (more than they ask about me!!).  You are destined to be amongst the stars, and I truly can’t wait to see you on your journey. Your new destiny will be filled with eternal love & light in my heart. I miss you so much. My person. I love you, boo. 


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