Former NASA Astronaut Ronald A. Parise Passes Away

Two-time space shuttle astronaut Ronald A. Parise passed away last week at his home in Silver Spring, Md., after a three-year battle with brain cancer. He was 56.

The Ohio native flew as a payload specialist aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 1990 and the Endeavour in 1995. He made ultraviolet and x-ray astronomical observations as part of the ASTRO-1 and ASTRO-2 missions. Parise also spoke with hundreds of ham radio operators around the world during his flights.

Frank H. Bauer, chairman of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station International program, was saddened to hear of Parise’s passing.

“Ron Parise was — and continues to be — an inspiration to countless students, ham radio operators, and friends the world over,” Bauer told “While he certainly did some truly extraordinary things in his lifetime, Ron Parise is best known and cherished for keeping family and friends first … and for this, we will miss him most.”

Parise is survived by his wife, the former Cecilia Sokol, whom he met while both were students at Youngstown State University. They married in 1973. The couple’s son, Nicholas, is in the U.S. Air Force. Their daughter, Katherine, lives in Silver Spring, Md.

The family requests that contributions be made to the Youngstown State University Foundation, Dr. Ronald A. Parise Scholarship Fund.