Mt. Ayr Honors Astronaut Peggy Whitson in Stone

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MT. AYR, Iowa- Astronaut Peggy Whitson will be honored in her hometown area. A giant boulder will be painted as a tribute to Whitson, who spent more time in space, than any other woman, and who also served as a Commander of the International Space Station.

“Came up with it one evening, and I told my wife, that I had this wild idea, that might be crazy but something we can work on was a Peggy Whitson rock, like the Freedom Rock that Bubba Sorenson paints,” said Ken Robertson, who hatched the idea.

Robertson called Whitson to ask if she would be open to the idea. “She like the idea, all she asked was that it have an American flag.

Whitson grew up on a farm near Beaconsfield, and she graduated from Mt. Ayr High School. Whitson is remembered for excelling academically and as a high school basketball player.

“I’m gonna work hard, and I want to be a guard and she worked very hard and became an all conference guard in one year,” said Mark Larson, who coached Whitson.

“She was in the national honor society, she’s probably maybe a perfect four point in high school, but it would be awfully close,” said James Saville, who also taught Whitson. “She got A’s in every class I had her in, she was interested in both math and science, but she did well in our social studies too because she wanted to know about everything.”

Hopefully the Whitson Rock will be completed and unveiled at a dedication ceremony in the spring. Organizers are hoping Whitson will be able to attend.

Here is a link to the Peggy Whitson Rock Facebook Page