WOODLAWN CEMETERY — Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, was interred at Woodlawn Cemetery, Mortuary and Mausoleum in a private ceremony attended by family and friends Monday, city officials said.
Less than 20 people were admitted to the funeral, which was led by Ride’s sister Karen, who is better known by her nickname “Bear,” said Benjamin Steers, acting administrator for Woodlawn.
It was particularly meaningful for Steers, whose uncle worked for NASA and who followed the space shuttle program with a passion, collecting each of the shuttle mission patches.
“To me, it was truly an honor that I had the opportunity to place Dr. Sally Ride into her final resting location,” Steers said. “As a woman who’s traveled around the world hundreds of times in space, that Santa Monica was the place her family picked as a final home was very meaningful and it’s an honor for the city to have a national hero interred there.”
Ride died at her home in La Jolla, Calif. of pancreatic cancer on July 23, according to the Associated Press. She was 61.
Ride broke down gender barriers when, on June 18, 1983, she flew into space on the shuttle Challenger.
Since that day, 42 other women have followed her path into space.
Ride was a physicist, author of five science books for children and president of her own company that encourages young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
Her contributions to education were a huge part of her lasting legacy, said Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom.
“She could have done anything with her life and the fame that she achieved as an astronaut, but she chose to dedicate it to young people,” Bloom said.
The City Council will adjourn in Sally Ride’s honor at its Aug. 14 meeting, Bloom said.
Ride was buried next to her father, Dale Ride, who made a mark of his own in Santa Monica.
Dale Ride was a political science professor, administrator and political activist at Santa Monica College.
He also served as a trustee of the California State University system.
The Dale Ride Internship, established at SMC in 1991, sends students to participate in legislative and administrative processes and politics locally, statewide or nationally in governmental and non-governmental agencies.