Former Astronaut Gene Cernan buried at State Cemetery

The last man to walk on the moon - is now in his final resting place. Former Astronaut Captain Gene Cernan was buried today at the Texas State Cemetery.

In death the man most famously known for being the last person to step foot on the moon will as close as possible to touching it.

Wednesday morning family and famous NASA colleagues held a private graveside service at the Texas State Cemetery for former Astronaut Captain Gene Cernan.

Prior to that service a funeral was held for him in Houston where he resided.

Commander of Apollo 13 and friend James Lovell spoke.

"We will miss you Gene, an extraordinary individual who added another chapter in the history or space flight,” Lovell said.

The 82 year old, who died on January 16th, made three missions to space. On his final flight in 1972, he served as commander of Apollo 17 logging 73 hours on the surface of the moon.

It was the final time man has stepped foot on the moon. He wrote his daughter’s initials in the dust.

Texas State Cemetery Committee Member Jim Bayless says it was a story Cernan shared among many with those who worked on the grounds.

"He often made a point of stopping by the state cemetery just to chew the fat with the staff. Staff at first, they're in utter awe. How am I talking to revered hero, but after a while they became buddies,” said Bayless.

Cernan, he says was the favorite resident to be. He apparently had a good sense of humor according to the story of how he chose his burial plot.

"At the end of the tour Harry Bradley says Mr. Cernan do you prefer any location as opposed to any other. He says, ‘Harry I don't care, I'm going to be dead.’ Then he pauses and he gets this big grin on his face. Then, he says ‘Harry well you know I think I'd like to be buried in the spot closest to the moon,’” said Bayless.

Sure enough that spot was available making Cernan the first astronaut to be buried there.

"Stephen F. Austin, Barbara Jordan, a number of luminaries both people you have heard of and never heard of that basically paint the portrait of the state. Gene Cernan in my estimation is a crown jewel,” said Bayless.

Another famous astronaut will join Cernan in time… Walter Cunningham who is best known as America's second civilian astronaut.

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