Memorial Spaceflights

Steven Livingston Schnider

"'The sky calls to us.' Carl Sagan"
1953 - 2017

Steven Livingston Schnider is the eldest child of the late Jean and Martin Schnider, born on February 26, 1953 in Washington, D.C.   He is the brother of Susan, Mary Anne, Fred and Marty Jr.  He was married to Christine for 35 years when he passed on January 23, 2017.  He is the father of Gillian (Mike) and the grandfather of Cory. 

By trade, Steven was a real estate developer in the Ballston corridor of Arlington, Virginia.  His passion was helping people as a volunteer fireman and EMT. He achieved the rank of Captain at Station 2, our neighborhood fire and rescue  company. Space was his religion, and Issac Asimov, Carl Sagan and Steven Hawking were his Holy Trinity.  

Steven’s senior superlative at Ascension Academy was “Talks the least, but says the most.”  He attended Virginia Tech, where he studied computer sciences, physics, astronomy, cosmology, and math.  He was a man of few words, and a vivid imagination.  He loved, and was fascinated by anything scientific, technical or by theoretical.   He said things like “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, so that means Love, True Love, never dies.”  and “Extinction happens when people cannot adapt to the situations life throws at them.  Stay flexible.” 

He followed the Heaven Above app, and would drag us outside into the heat or cold, even during the best part of a movie, if something was scheduled to go over our house.   He would know exactly where to look and point out the faintest reflection of light as it moved across the sky.  Some of Steven’s ashes were launched on the Heritage satellite, which orbits the earth three times a day.  It would be great if he were still with us to drag us outside, and tell us when to “look up.”

Steven and his Dad attended the lift-off of Apollo 11 as special guests of then FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover when he was 15 years old.   No doubt this historic and amazing experience cemented his life-long fascination and love of space, space exploration, cosmology and physics.   

Steven loved to read. When he was amused, his eyes would twinkle, and his nose would wrinkle at the bridge before breaking into a full laugh.   He was charming, handsome, intelligent, kind and funny.   He inspired calmness and trust in people by being sensitive, kind and caring.   Steven was Superman, Spiderman, and every superhero who ever wore a cape.   

It was hard to choose a slogan to put under Steven’s picture.  He sometimes borrowed Ralph Kramden’s words, “To the moon Alice! To the moon!”  He loved JFK’s exciting challenge: “We choose the moon!” “We love you to the moon and back,” is so true.  Finally, Carl Sagan’s words seem the most respectful and appropriate:  “The sky calls to us,” for Steven was always looking up and looking forward.  

He would have thanked the Celestis team for their leadership in providing space burials, and especially, Christiana and Faith for their care and Charles Chafer for his vision.  Everything for a Celestis memorial is planned as carefully as a space launch, and it feels like a family reunion, more than a memorial service to be here. Steven would be excited to be onboard as an honored participant in his third historic launch:  The lift-off  of the Astrobotic Peregrine Lunar Lander on the maiden voyage of the Volcan Centaur Cert-1 Rocket.  History is being made again this weekend! 

Those of us who love Steven will find comfort in knowing part of Steven is on the lunar surface.   Seeing the  moon at night, in all of its phases, will remind us of our special connection with Steven. Although he has been physically gone from us for six years, his memory will be rekindled every time we search the night sky, or see someone performing a random kindness. 

 Our grandchild Cory Rodgers, honored Steven by reading this quotation at the Celebration  of his Life six years ago.   It is even more true today:  





Participant Aboard:
× Close

Subscription Result



Note: It is our responsibility to protect your privacy and we guarantee that your email address will be completely confidential. × Close