A 104-year-old skydiver – who could possibly be licensed because the oldest particular person to ever soar out of a aircraft – has died only a week after a daredevil stunt.
Dorothy Hoffner mentioned “let’s go, let’s go, Geronimo” as she dived headfirst out of a aircraft from 13,500 ft (4,114m) in northern Illinois within the US on 1 October.
Close good friend Joe Conant mentioned she simply needed to leap and wasn’t trying to break any information – though he’s submitting paperwork for Guinness World Records, with the present document holder aged 103.
But on Tuesday, Mr Conant revealed Ms Hoffner was discovered useless at her retirement dwelling on Monday morning, having apparently died in her sleep one week on from her skydive.
“She was indefatigable. She just kept going,” mentioned Mr Conant, a nurse who met Ms Hoffner a number of years in the past whereas working as a carer for an additional resident.
“She was not someone who would take naps in the afternoon, or not show up for any function, dinner or anything else. She was always there, fully present. She kept going, always.”
Ms Hoffner needed to leap final week to relive the enjoyable she had from her first soar – when she was 100 – however this time she needed to steer the soar, quite than be pushed out.
A crowd cheered as she landed in Ottawa, 140 kilometres (85 miles) southwest of Chicago, and she or he instructed them “age is just a number”.
As she was reunited together with her strolling body, she mentioned it was “wonderful” to be again on the bottom.
She mentioned it was “wonderful up there”, including: “The whole thing was delightful, wonderful, couldn’t have been better.”
The lifelong Chicago resident, who was going to show 105 in December, had mentioned she was contemplating using a scorching air balloon subsequent.
“I’ve never been in one of those,” she mentioned.
Mr Conant mentioned he’s working by means of paperwork to make sure Guinness World Records certifies his good friend posthumously because the world’s oldest skydiver, however he expects that can take time.
The present document was set in May 2022 by 103-year-old Linnea Ingegard Larsson of Sweden.
“She had no intention of breaking the record, and she had no interest in any publicity or anything,” Mr Conant mentioned of Ms Hoffner.
“She wasn’t doing it for any other reason than she wanted to go skydiving.”
‘Never too late to take the fun of a lifetime’
Skydive Chicago and the United States Parachute Association paid tribute to Ms Hoffner in a joint assertion on Tuesday.
“We are deeply saddened by Dorothy’s passing and feel honoured to have been a part of making her world record skydive a reality,” they mentioned.
“Dorothy reminds us that it’s never too late to take the thrill of a lifetime. We are forever grateful that skydiving was a part of her exciting, well-lived life.”
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Mr Conant mentioned Ms Hoffner labored as a phone operator with Illinois Bell, which later turned AT&T, for greater than 40 years and retired 43 years in the past.
She by no means married and Mr Conant mentioned she had no quick members of the family.
A memorial service for Ms Hoffner will likely be held in early November.
“She was a dear friend who was an inspiration,” Mr Conant added.