Lunar citizen Selene Ramirez Choi-Collins, who became known as the longest-living person never to have been on Earth, died yesterday of a coronary at her home in New Opportunity, Peary Crater. She was 73.
According to her son, Manuel, her late-found celebrity came as a surprise but she resented when reporters portrayed her as a narrow-minded old lady.
The 6th child born on Moon, Selene Ramirez, grew up on the Neil Armstrong base where her parents were part of the maintenance crew.
She was still a teenager when her family returned to Earth, but she opted to stay and later married childhood friend and geologist, Anthony Choi-Collins.
“It was love at first sight even though she was the janitor’s daughter and his father worked in the science department. But that’s how it was back then. No class distinctions, just a bunch of Moon-kids running around the base,” Manuel Choi-Collins said.
The couple also had a daughter, Diana, and spent the next decades at different locations on Moon where Selene Choi-Collins worked as a part-time tourist guide and teacher while her husband served the Lunar administration.
Though he often went to conferences on Earth, Selene Choi-Collins never joined him and did not even attend her parents’ funerals or visit her children when they left Moon to study.
“My parents actually planned to be at my graduation but their flight got cancelled. Then my sister was killed in the Columbiad-disaster. After that, my mother decided it wasn’t worth the risk,” Manuel Choi-Collins explained.
When the couple retired they chose not to move to Earth like many of their friends, but instead became Moon’s first senior citizens. Anthony Choi-Collins died in 2106, aged 72, when his suit malfunctioned during a hike.
“People think she never went because she was afraid but that’s missing the point. We spent so much time and effort on making this place our home so why go back? She just didn’t feel any ties to Earth and she’s not the only one to have that sentiment. She was the first. She won’t be the last,” her son said.