Samuel Durrance

September 1943
May 2023


It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of my father, Sam Durrance. He was a beloved father, grandfather, husband, brother, astronaut, and professor who was widely known and respected for his outstanding contributions to science, education, and humanity. Today, he lost his battle with Parkinson's disease and dementia, with which he was diagnosed in 2021. My father was a man of remarkable character and was admired for his intelligence, kindness, gentleness, selflessness, and humility. He dedicated his life to exploring the mysteries of space and sharing his knowledge and passion with his students as a professor. His career spanned several decades, and he earned numerous achievements and accolades. As an astronaut, he completed two Space Shuttle missions, logging over 375 hours in space and conducting groundbreaking scientific experiments. He was also a vital member of several NASA committees and task forces, where he used his expertise to guide and shape the future of space exploration. As a professor, he inspired countless students to pursue their dreams and make their mark in the world. His commitment to education and innovation earned him numerous awards and honors, including the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and the Space Foundation's highest honor, the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award. In his final days, my father was surrounded by the love and care of his family, and he passed peacefully in hospice care. Although he will be deeply missed, his legacy will continue to inspire and impact generations to come. My father was an inspiration to me and to so many others. He taught me the importance of living with purpose, giving back to the community, and treating others with kindness and respect. I will always cherish the memories we shared, and his spirit will live on through his remarkable achievements and the countless lives he touched. A true scientist to the end and beyond, he asked that his body be donated to support ongoing medical research associated with astronauts who have flown in space. At the conclusion of that research, he will be cremated, and the remains returned to our family. A memorial service will be held in Melbourne, Florida, later this year. We are comforted to know that he is in heaven with his savior, Jesus Christ, and very much appreciate everyone's love and prayers during this difficult time.

Friends & Family

Becky Durrance, Ben Durrance, Wendy Durrance, Susan Meracle, Ashlynn Durrance, Jordyn Colon, Javier Lima, Andrew Durrance, Madison Durrance, Isabella Meracle, Eleyna Durrance, Gabriel Lima, James Faulkner.

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