LOMBARD, Ill. (AP) — As NASA astronaut Daniel Tani orbitedEarth, hundreds of mourners filled a suburban Chicago church Sunday to rememberhis 90-year-old mother as someone who endured hardship to raise five childrenand worked until age 70.
Rose Tani died Dec. 19 when a train struck her car. DanielTani, 46, who is aboard the international space station, could not travel backfor the service at his mother's church, First Church of Lombard, and sent avideo message.
Daniel Tani "has lost the person who has been hisinspiration for most of his life," said Rev. Rob Hatfield, according to aWLS-TV report posted on its Web site.
Rose Tani was remembered as a woman who braved a U.S. WorldWar II internment camp, raised her children after her husband's death andworked in a school cafeteria until she was 70.
Police said Rose Tani stopped behind a school bus at arailroad crossing and then drove around the vehicle, bypassing the loweredcrossing gate. A train struck the passenger side of her vehicle and pushed itdown the tracks before stopping.
NASA has said Daniel Tani is believed to be the firstAmerican astronaut to lose a close family member while in space.
A private funeral service is planned for when he returnsfrom space early next year.