Death Notices | Obituaries | Newspaper Obituaries | Online Obituaries | Newspaper Death Notices | Online Death Notices Legacy.com - Your nationwide resource for obituaries and Guest Books
  Home
Search by Last Name:   
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Click here to View and Sign Guest Book View/Sign Guest Book

Laurel Clark Obituary

Laurel Clark was a diving medical officer aboard submarines and then a flight surgeon before she became an astronaut in 1996. She had been on board Columbia to help with more than 80 science experiments.

"She was doing something that she cared deeply about, that she was very good at," said her father, Robert Salton, 69, of Albuquerque, N.M. In fact, he said, "she was pretty good at everything."

The 41-year-old was married with an 8-year-old son and lived in Racine, Wis.

Clark "had done something in a world usually reserved for men and she was pleased at the opportunity," said her aunt, Betty Haviland, of Ames, Iowa.

Clark knew space flight remained risky. "There's a lot of different things that we do during life that could potentially harm us and I choose not to stop doing those things," she said.

Clark joined the Navy to pay her way through medical school and begin looking toward the space program as her military career drew to a close, Salton said. Clark joined NASA in 1996 and earned a flight assignment as a mission specialist after two years.

Before Columbia's launch, Clark said her family, including son Ian, sometimes worried about her being an astronaut.

"To me, there's a lot of different things that we do during life that could potentially harm us, and I choose not to stop doing those things," Clark said. "They've all come to accept that it's what I want to do."

Clark's family already had been wracked by national tragedy: Timothy Haviland, her cousin and Haviland's son, died in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Dan Salton received an e-mail from his sister Friday about how much she was enjoying her experience aboard the shuttle.

"She loved it," he said. "I'm just so glad she got to get up to space and got to see it because that had been a dream for a long time."


Copyright 2003 The Associated Press


Share photos, videos and more with Legacy Memorial Websites. Find out more.
Share memories
Click here to View and Sign Guest Book View/Sign Guest Book
Professionally print this Guest Book
Helpful tools
E-mail this obituary
Print this obituary

You may leave your condolences or share memories by signing the Guest Book here
Suggested Entries

Guest Book Highlights
Guestbook Highlights
Laurel Clark


November 15, 2013
I have slipped the surly bonds of earth And danced the skies on laughter-Silvered wings. Where never Lark nor eagle flew And while with silent lifting mind I trod The high untrespassed Sanctity of space, Put out my hand And
Julia Crim (Arlington, TX)

View Guest Book
175 entries