An aviator and astronaut from Grapevine, Wally Funk, was inducted into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame last month, according to a news release.

Funk was joined in the 2024 induction class, which was enshrined in the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame April 19, by Colleen Barrett, former president of Southwest Airlines; R. Walter Cunningham, Apollo 7 Astronaut, and Heather Wilson, former secretary of the Air Force.

What you need to know

She earned her pilot’s license during her time at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, and went on to volunteer for the First Lady Astronaut Trainees program in 1961. Funk is the only member of the program, now known as “Mercury 13,” who would go to space when she did so at 82 years old—the oldest woman to go to space—aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft during its suborbital flight.

"I never let anything stop me," Funk said in the release.

In 1968, Funk earned her rating as an airline transport pilot, but her application to become a commercial pilot was denied by airline companies because she was a woman, according to the release.

What else?

Funk became the first civilian flight instructor at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and has logged more than 30,000 flight hours, trained over 3,000 pilots to fly and assisted thousands of individuals in obtaining advanced flight ratings.

Per the release, she became the Federal Aviation Administration’s first female inspector and, in 1974, became the first female investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board.