Legacy fulfilled: First female jet pilot laid to rest

Published: Feb. 2, 2019 at 6:34 PM EST
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Captain Rosemary Mariner, United States Navy, Retired, died on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, following a five-year battle with ovarian cancer. In her honor, the U.S. Navy conducted the first ever all-female flyover as she was laid to rest with full military honors.

"She knew that to have a full naval career, she had to push to open some doors," said Tommy Mariner, who is Capt. Rosemary Mariner's husband.

"She had such courage, so focused, so smart," said Commander Chris Giza, who was the second female jet pilot.

Retired Captain Rosemary Mariner was on a mission.

"Her real goal became not to be exceptional, but to be the first person to open to the door, but leave it open for others to follow her through," said Tommy.

Mariner was the Navy's first female jet pilot. She paved the way for women in the military. She inspired females like Commander Chris Giza.

"First CO, CO of an air station, first tactical jet, and on, and on, as she continued to push the water uphill," said Commander Giza.

Rosemary died about a week ago after a 5 year battle with ovarian cancer.

"Today shows she has reached the top," said Commander Giza.

Another first took place at her funeral- the first all female flyover in her honor.

Mariner's husband Tommy Mariner said it was a meaningful day. They were married two days shy of 39 years.

"I'm so proud of her," said Mariner. "Mission success. Rosemary achieved her goal. It's up to them to keep that door open."