Rona Ramon
Rona RamonJorge Novominsky / Flash 90

Rona Ramon, widow of Columbia Space Shuttle astronaut and IAF hero Ilan Ramon, has passed away at age 54 after battling a disease.

Ilan and Rona's son, Capt. Asaf Ramon, was an Air Force pilot like his father, and was killed in an aviation training accident.

Rona Ramon was born in Kiryat Ono in 1964, and served as a paramedic in the IDF's Paratrooper Regiment. She married Ilan at age 22, five years after he partook in the daring bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor.

She studied physical education and later became a licensed holistic therapist. When the Ramons' second son was born, the family moved to the Ramat David AFB. From there, they moved to the Hatzor AFB and then to the community of Re'ut.

Rona Ramon speaks with Arutz Sheva at the Israeli International Space Conference as debris of the Columbia shuttle was brought to Israel

In 1998, the family moved to Houston, where Ilan trained for his space mission. On February 1, 2003, Ilan was killed in the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster.

In September of 2009, the Ramon's firstborn son, Asaf, was killed in a training accident, as he flew an F-16 jet. He was buried in Nahalal, where his father was also laid to rest.

After Asaf's death, she set up the Ramon Foundation. She also began giving lectures about her life and spoke about coping mechanisms.

On Israel’s 68th Independence Dayת two years ago, she lit a torch at the annual torch-lighting ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

She left behind three children.