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04-Year-Old Skydiver Dorothy Hoffner's Passing After Days of Getting Her Skydiving Certification

Wednesday, October 11, 2023 • Tamil Comments
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Dorothy Hoffner, the amazing 104-year-old woman from Chicago who performed a skydive last month, has died. That incredible leap into the record books may have won her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest person ever to parachute tandem.

Staff at the Brookdale Lake View senior living community found Hoffner dead on Monday morning, and her good friend Joe Conant, who is a nurse, said he thinks she passed away in her sleep Sunday night. He met Hoffner several years ago when he was working as a caregiver at the senior living centre and called her "Grandma," which is what she had requested to be addressed as. He said that she was filled with energy and still mentally sharp.

Conant recalled fondly, “She was indefatigable. She just kept going. She wasn’t somebody who would take naps in the afternoon or not show up for any function, dinner, or anything else. She was always there, completely present with everybody and everything she did. She just kept going.”

Hoffner's tandem skydive on October 1 from an altitude of 13,500 feet (4,100 meters) at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois, could see her maintain the world record as the oldest female skydiver. But it was not a first-time experience for Hoffner after she boldly jumped out of a plane when she turned 100 years old.

Conant is working to get Guinness World Records to declare Hoffner the world's oldest skydiver after his death, though he doesn't expect it will be done anytime soon. The current record, achieved in May 2022, is currently held by Sweden's Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson, then aged 103.

Conant says the first jump by Hoffner was not to break any records. She just wanted to have the feeling of skydiving once again, with no form of publicity or record attempt in mind.

In a joint statement, Skydive Chicago and the United States Parachute Association expressed their deepest sorrow at Hoffner's passing, honouring her as a person who had reminded each of us that it is never too late to get the thrill of one's lifetime.

Dorothy Hoffner had been an AT&T telephone operator for more than four decades after Illinois Bell, up until her retirement 43 years ago. A lifelong Chicagoan, she was without any close relatives and never married. A celebration of her life will be held in early November.

Conant summarized her legacy, saying, “She was a dear friend who was an inspiration.”
 

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