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local obituaries

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Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell dies at 85

Astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell, who was part of the Apollo 14 space crew that flew to the moon in 1971, died late Thursday in West Palm Beach, according to his family.

Mitchell, 85, lived in suburban Lake Worth and died at a local hospice at about 10 p.m. Thursday, his daughter, former West Palm Beach City Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell told The Palm Beach Post.

Mitchell’s ex-wife, Anita Mitchell, is a former Republican Party chairman for Palm Beach County and is currently former Florida governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s Palm Beach County campaign chairman.

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Mitchell was the sixth man to walk on the moon. He was part of a three-man crew, with Alan Shepard Jr. and Stuart Roosa, who took part in the Apollo 14 space mission. It was the eighth manned mission in the United States Apollo program and they became the third ever to land on the moon. Mitchell was the lunar module pilot on the mission.

Apollo 14 launched just over 45 years ago, on Jan. 31, 1971. The nine-day mission ended Feb. 9 when the crew landed in the South Pacific Ocean.

Unlike other astronauts who tend to live reclusive lives, Mitchell remained in the public eye.

In 2011, he turned over the camera he took to the moon to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington. The U.S. government filed a lawsuit against him in that same year, saying he stole the camera. Mitchell denied the allegations and said if it wasn’t for him, the camera would have never made it back to Earth.

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Mitchell was born in Hereford, Texas, on Sept. 17, 1930 but considered his hometown Artesia, N.M., near Roswell. Mitchell was open about his views on the paranormal and psychic, and he founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences, which sponsors research into the nature of consciousness, or studying the unexplained. In his 1996 memoir, “The Way of the Explorer,” he described the experience on his return to Earth as life-changing.

“What I experienced during that three-day trip home was nothing short of an overwhelming sense of universal connectedness. I actually felt what has been described as an ecstasy of unity,” he said.

Woman turns up alive 13 days after her funeral

Thirteen days after saying their final farewells to a Sharolyn Jackson, a Philadelphia family got a pleasant surprise when they found Jackson alive and well.

The fifty-year-old was pronounced dead after a body matching her description was found on a street corner on July 20. (Via Daily Mirror)

The body was identified as Jackson by her son and a friend, and was buried under Jackson’s name on August 3. (Via Legacy)

But just 13 days after her funeral, Jackson’s son Travis discovered his mother alive and well at a psychiatric institution in central Philadelphia. (Via New York Daily News)

Jackson’s father, Dave Minnie, told KYW about the moment he learned his daughter was alive after all.

“You know how you feel that you’re just about to get over it? That she’s dead, and then Travis comes here with the news that she’s alive.”

Jackson’s family was obviously overjoyed to have her back, but the question remains: who is buried in Jackson’s grave? The Daily Mail says authorities are trying to find that out.

A writer for The Stir comments the mystery woman the Jacksons laid to rest must put a bit of a damper on the family’s reunion.

“Sure, your mom is OK, but who knows who this other woman has left behind ... and they haven’t even had the comfort of being able to say goodbye to their loved one. Talk about a mixed blessing!”

 Authorities are now seeking a court order to exhume the body. The unknown woman died of natural causes on July 20.

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