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Rona Ramon, widow of Israeli space shuttle victim, dies

JERUSALEM (AP) — Rona Ramon, whose husband was killed in the 2003 Columbia space shuttle disaster and who later lost a son in a military plane crash, has died.

Ramon, who was 54, died Monday of pancreatic cancer, according to Israeli media reports.

Her husband, Ilan Ramon, was Israel’s first and only astronaut. Six years after the Columbia crash, their son, Asaf, who had followed in his father’s footsteps to become an Israeli air force fighter pilot, was killed in a training accident.

In a 2013 interview, Ramon said she was still unable to discuss the loss of her son, but also tried to “look for meaning in life.”

She formed a foundation in memory of her husband and son, and counseled others coping with tragedies.

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