OBITUARY

Victor W. Hurst IV

May 23, 1967October 27, 2015
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Victor W. Hurst IV of Houston, Texas passed away suddenly on October 27th, 2015 at the age of 48. A shining star to all who knew him, he was the epitome of joy, generosity and kindness in this life. Victor’s amazing ability to find humor in almost any situation was his most precious gift to all of us. He will be sorely missed by his loving family and friends and is survived by his parents Marilyn C. Hurst of Longmeadow, Massachusetts; Victor W. Hurst III and Jean Hurst of St. Petersburg, Florida; his sister Kathryn Hayden of Coventry, Connecticut; sister Deborah Rising and her husband Ben Rising of Woodbury, Connecticut and sister Amie Adams and husband Greg Adams of Springfield, Virginia. He is preceded in death by his sister Sara Hurst. Victor was also the profoundly proud uncle of niece Laura Hayden and nephews Wesley and Charles Rising, Allen Manning and Jackson and Parker Adams.

Victor was born in Dayton, Ohio on May 23, 1967. His interest in the study of space, and desire to travel there, developed at a very young age and guided much of his life. He started a space club at Amity High School in Woodbridge, Connecticut where he graduated in 1985. He went on to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York where he received his BS in physics in 1989 and received his PhD in Physiology from Albany Medical College in 1999.

That same year he moved to Houston, Texas where he devoted himself to his career as a research scientist at Wyle Labs, a division of NASA. There he worked to advance space-relevant medical procedures and equipment—authoring/co-authoring more than 50 scientific journal articles and published abstracts and training 67 ISS astronauts and cosmonauts from 8 different countries. In 2007, he participated in the Science Channel documentary Mars Rising and had many adventures on the zero gravity aircraft (known affectionately as the ‘vomit comet’). He was chosen as one of four participants in HERA (Human Exploration Research Analog) in 2014--a project to simulate the flight operations and isolation associated with a space mission to a very far-away asteroid.

Victor was a certified sky diver and avid runner who ran both half and full marathons, and was due to complete the Bridge Series benefiting the prevention of domestic violence against women on November 15th. A campaign called “Finish it for Victor” will ensure the completion of it in his honor by his friends and family. Always a willing to lend a helping hand when needed, he was active in countless community and charity projects, most particularly the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Foundation (HOBY).

A passionate fan of music and concert-going, Victor never missed an opportunity to catch Metallica, Kiss or any tour of the 1980’s “hair” bands. Victor was an avid fan of UConn Husky Sports and the Hartford Whalers.

While we are all so grateful for the 48 years we were blessed to share with Victor, it was not nearly enough for a man who epitomized love, joy, compassion and so much humor. To quote one of the many wonderful Facebook posts: "Victor was the type of person that could single handedly restore people's faith in humanity should it be needed. What an overwhelming loss for us and gain for the heavens.” A memorial service was held Thursday, November 05, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. in the Chapel of Forest Park East Cemetery, Houston, TX. A second memorial service is planned for Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at the Heritage Hotel, Southbury, CT.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Foundation (HOBY); http://www.hoby.org/ or The National Multiple Sclerosis Society; Home.

Services

  • Memorial Service Thursday, November 5, 2015

Memories

Victor W. Hurst IV

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Kate Beck

November 14, 2015

Whenever I see my ponytail swinging, I'll always think of you and how you would impersonate me when I was little and how you would still do it even though I'm almost 20. I can't believe you're not here anymore.

I love you Mr. Victor,
Mavis xoxo

Kevin Starkey

November 11, 2015

Victor meant so much to so many. The tribute to him from the ISS is living proof about how many people he touched. He and my wife, Blythe Starkey, were friends and colleagues and he always made sure to converse with me every time we were at a get together. We will be sorely missed by many.
-Kevin Starkey

Heidi DeBlock

November 9, 2015

I knew Victor when he was a grad student at Albany Medical College. He would come to the ICU and round with me just because he was interested in how physiology came to play in patients. It was our friendship there that eventually got him to NASA through many twists and turns. He was so happy to be at NASA- his dream job. We worked in the Cardio lab together until he moved on to other labs. He was always enthusiastic, happy and enjoyed all that life had to offer. He was taken too soon and will always live on in our hearts.

Liam Renton

November 7, 2015

I didn't know Victor.But i just heard of his achievements through the BBC News website.
The astronaut playing Amazing Grace on the (Scottish made) bagpipes.
He obviously made a big impression on the guys up there.He did an awful lot in a life cut short way too soon.
www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-34757254

Chris Zajac

November 5, 2015

I didn't know Victor that well but I do remember the first time I met him. It was nice to meet another Connecticut Yankee but even more memorable as he was a Whalers fan also. A nice guy. To all his family and friends...I'm very sorry for your loss.

Jeffrey Karp

November 5, 2015

Please forgive the re-write. There was more too say. Much more. Maybe too much, but I hope it gives his family some consolation and some perspective on how many lives Victor's touched throughout the years and how many people he's helped through his genuine and sincere acts of kindness alone, the difference he made in people's lives, like my own. I loved Victor. I will miss him dearly just knowing he is no longer with us. I thought you should know. My sincere condolences and shared saddness for your loss. JKK

Sadness to Infinity. This one's tough. This one really hurts. Victor was simply way too young to be taken from us this soon @ 48 years old.

Victor was an amazing person who was always quick with a smile, a funny story, and always quick to share his infectious positive outlook on life during time in lifr and during an age when it wasn't always that easy for some of us kids to be on that same plane of existence which involved feeling happy, joyous and free.

Victor was wise beyond his years, yet at other times he could party hard just like the rest of us, for example, while sleeping out all night for concert tickets, as we often did back then.

Victor's real inner strength lied in his ability to connect with people from all walks of life regardless of race, religion, money or social status. He was able to use his talents in sports, music, science and academics, to make an immediate positive impact on people from all walks by developing a connection, an advanced skill set for sure. Victor was unmatched in this regard, especially at such a young age.

Victor's flame burned brightly and people followed him in all things. Victor's sense of wonder and his commitment to higher education propelled him to follow through on his dreams to earn a PHD and ultimately publish scientic papers and work at NASA, all of which he did with amazing success! His commitment to giving back to the world through philanthropic foundations and by giving of his time and energy was perfectly beautiful and encapsulated the ideals and vision of what it was that drove Victor beyond the science, beyond the sports. It was helping other people wherever and whenever possible. A true inspiration. A hero.

Many people leave this earth, some at nearly twice his age, but with most accomplishing much less than what Victor had already accomplished in such short time. What a testament to his god give genius, brilliance and talents.

Victor was a wonderful human being in every sense of the word. I am proud to have known him and I spent some very good and sometimes crazy times with during all of those formative years.

Since we didn't always walk in the same circles together, Victor could've snubbed me, but instead he was always very kind, very respectful, and always very engaging. As a result, we had a friendship on the side that I will always cherish and remember fondly, but now with a heavy sadness in my heart at his passing, I'll have to wait a while longer until I get the chance to reconnect with Victor once again. Until then, RIP buddy. The physical pain is over. Enjoy your new palace in his Kingdom which you so richly deserve!

Ps.
Victor's star will continue to shine brightly in the heavens for millennia after millennia, of that I have no doubt. Look up at the night sky one starry night and you just might see Victor shining down, looking right back at you! Shine On Victor!! The universe is now your new playground in the heavens!!

Jeffrey K. Karp - 11/5/2015

Rob Lewis

November 5, 2015

Victor was perhaps the most positive, friendly, and crazy over the moon space fan I have ever known. I know he is one of the brightest stars in the Heaven above now.

Kira Bacal

November 5, 2015

It was with profound pain and disbelief that I learned of Victor's untimely passing. Having worked with Victor for a number of years, I remember with great affection his infectious grin, (deliberately) cheesy accents, and intense dedication to the space program. He was loyal, kind, and caring. He loved his family and friends, but more than that, he loved people - as his volunteer efforts proved. We are all richer for having known him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.

Jeffrey Karp

November 5, 2015

This one's tough. This one hurts and will continue to hurt for quite some time. Victor was too young to be taken from us this early. As we all know, Victor was an amazing person who was always quick with a smile and quick to share his positive outlook on life and his optimistic perspective in general. His flame burned brightly and people followed; whether it was sports, music, acting, band, anything and everything, Victor lead and people followed. He was loved, he was talented, he was smart and he was admired by everyone who knew him. His sense of wonder and his commitment to higher education propelled him to follow through on his dreams, which he did with amazing success! Many people leave this earth nearly twice his age and accomplish much less than what victor had already accomplished in such short time. Victor was a truly a man and a wonderful person in every sense. I am proud to have known him, and called him friend while we spent some very good times togeher while we both attended Beecher Middle School (pretty sure he was there with me), Amity Junior High School (Bethany), and Amity Senior High School in Woodbridge, although most of our fun together was after school of course!! (RIP VWH IV. I'll look for you when it become my turn and I too make it someday to....the other side!). JKK. 11/4/2015

Bob and Gwen Fraser

November 4, 2015

My husband and I are Lesley Lee's parents. In 2004, her husband was very, very sick and receiving chemotherapy in Houston after being life-flighted back to Seattle from Alaska and eventually back to Texas. Because of the chemo, Stuart lost his hair.
We stayed with them during this entire time and were with him in his hospital room when a rather large, tall, bald man entered the room. Lesley and Stu sort of gasped when they saw him. The lovely man knew Stuart would feel funny without hair, so he had all his hair removed in honor of Stuart, so Stu wouldn't feel so alone. THAT is true friendship, from a man I had never met, but truly admired and wished to know him better, Gwen and Bob Fraser

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