Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them,” she recalled. “Steve’s final words were, Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.
Did he catch a glimpse of heaven and St. Peter's gate? Did he, in those final moments, confess and believe in Christ's redeeming mercy? Seems like that's possible. We don't know, but we can hope, as the Church does about all that die.