Memorial Spaceflights

Steven Mark Julian

"Born anew as an astronaut!"
1950 - 2006

Steven Mark Julian was born in 1950 in a Topeka, Kansas hospital. He later moved to Lawrence where he would spend the rest of his life.

From the time that Sputnik orbited the earth, Steve loved space. Had his career path been different, he would have done whatever he could to be an astronaut. Instead, his studies resulted in a BGS degree in History from the University of Kansas. He married Vicki Leah Henry and had two wonderful sons, Christopher Steven and Ryan Patrick. He instilled the love of space especially in his oldest son, who at six, drew a wonderful picture of the space shuttle which Steve kept in his office.

Steve initially worked in a grocery store and then became an assistant manager. From there he became an insurance agent, and later a life insurance consultant working for a brokerage company and helping agents to help their clients.

Steve was an avid Jayhawk, especially when it came to basketball. A highlight was being invited to a private practice of the KU team in late August 2006. He and Chris and Ryan met the coach and each player. They were also invited to be part of the ending huddle where "Kansas" was shouted after placing all of their hands together. He will have a memorial stone placed near his mother's stone, around the statue of Phog Allen, in front of Allen Field House where the basketball games are played.

This was no ordinary life. When looking for pictures for his memorial service, only two or three pictures were found where he wasn't smiling his trademark smile. People loved Steve because of his smile, his humor and his caring. He had the remarkable ability to turn the bad things in life into good. He and Vicki were soul mates and it was apparent to everyone that, even after 33 years of marriage, they were very much in love.

In his final 13 days, Steve had an endless stream of visitors to the hospital. One hospital staffer estimated that he possibly had more visitors than anyone before him. The hospital also arranged two hospital beds so that Vicki could sleep next to him and they could hold hands throughout the night. Vicki rarely left his side. The memorial service of this former council president filled the large sanctuary, chapel, narthex, choir loft and stairs going to the second floor of Trinity Lutheran Church. An estimated 800+ people attended and parking was directed up to eight blocks away by police officers. Some people could not find parking or room to attend. It was possibly the largest memorial service ever at the church.

When it became apparent that the cancer was winning, Vicki told Steve that she would send his ashes into space and he would be the astronaut that he always wanted to be. He loved that. Now, when his family looks into the sky, they know that Steve is truly watching over them, just as he did on earth.

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