Chicago’s Oldest Skydiver, 104, Passes Away After Record-Breaking Dive

Dorothy Hoffner, a remarkable 104-year-old woman from Chicago whose recent skydive could potentially earn her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest person to ever jump from a plane, has sadly passed away. 

Hoffner’s inspiring journey touched the hearts of many as she defied age and expectations to embrace adventure and thrill.

Her close friend, Joe Conant, shared the news of her passing. He mentioned that staff at the Brookdale Lake View Senior Living Community found her lifeless on a Monday morning.

 It appeared that Hoffner had peacefully passed away in her sleep the previous Sunday night.

Conant, a nurse who affectionately referred to Hoffner as “Grandma,” met her several years ago while working as a caregiver for another resident at the senior living center.

He described her as a woman full of incredible energy, mental sharpness, and an unwavering zest for life.

On October 1, Hoffner embarked on a tandem skydive, a daring feat that could potentially secure her a spot in the record books as the world’s oldest skydiver.

From an altitude of 13,500 feet (4,100 meters), she leaped from a plane at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois, 85 miles (140 kilometers) southwest of Chicago.

“Age is just a number,” Hoffner proudly declared to a cheering crowd moments after her successful landing. Remarkably, this wasn’t her first time skydiving; she had previously taken the plunge when she was a spry 100 years old.

Conant is now working on the necessary paperwork to ensure that Guinness World Records posthumously certifies Hoffner as the world’s oldest skydiver. He acknowledges that the certification process may take some time.

The current record holder for the oldest skydiver, established in May 2022, is 103-year-old Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson of Sweden.

It’s important to note that Hoffner’s skydiving adventure was not motivated by a desire to break records. 

Instead, she was driven by her sheer love for the thrill and excitement of skydiving, having enjoyed her first jump immensely.

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Farewell to the Skydiving Centenarian: Chicago’s Record-Setting 104-Year-Old

Dorothy Hoffner, a remarkable 104-year-old woman from Chicago, whose recent skydive could potentially earn her a place in the Guinness World Records as the oldest person to ever jump from a plane, has sadly passed away.

In a joint statement, Skydive Chicago and the United States Parachute Association expressed their deep sadness over Dorothy Hoffner’s passing and celebrated her extraordinary achievements. 

They emphasized the importance of her story as a reminder that it’s never too late to embrace life’s thrilling moments, even the ones tucked away in our bucket lists.

Dorothy Hoffner’s life was marked by resilience and determination. She dedicated over four decades to working as a telephone operator with Illinois Bell (later AT&T) and retired 43 years ago. 

A lifelong Chicago resident, she never married and had no immediate family members.

A memorial service to honor the memory of Dorothy Hoffner will be held in early November. 

Her remarkable journey serves as a testament to the enduring human spirit and a reminder that age is no barrier to pursuing one’s passions and dreams.

Her dear friend, Joe Conant, summed up her legacy with admiration, calling her an inspiration to all who had the privilege of knowing her.

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Source: AP News

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