NBC News Chicago
Dorothy Hoffner, a 104-year-old woman from Chicago, defied the odds earlier this month when she made a remarkable skydive over Ottowa, Illinois. The centenarian jumped from a plane roughly 10,000 feet off the ground and was accompanied by a U.S. Parachute Association tandem instructor from Skydive Chicago.
After spending roughly seven minutes in the air, Dorothy landed safely and became the oldest person to ever participate in a tandem skydive. She surpassed the current world record set by 103-year-old Swedish woman, Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson, in May 2022. This historic jump is currently under review to be certified by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Sadly, Dorothy passed away peacefully in her sleep on October 8th, 2023 at her home in the Brookdale Lake View senior living community.
Dorothy’s close friend, Joe Conan reflected,
“She was indefatigable. She just kept going. 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.”
Skydive Chicago has released a statement, saying:
“We are deeply saddened by Dorothy’s passing and feel honored to have been a part of making her world-record skydive a reality. We are forever grateful that skydiving was a part of her exciting, well-lived life. Her legacy is even more remarkable because of the attention the world gave to her inspiring story.”
Dorothy was set to turn 105 in December and she was planning to ride in a hot-air balloon to celebrate.
Dorothy Hoffner sat down with NBC News Chicago after her jump and wanted anyone who had not tried skydiving to know that it is “a wonderful experience” and that they should “just do it.”
“When you feel good, you can do these things. Sometimes you might have a little fear or scare of doing it, but if you feel good, do it,” Hoffner said, via Reuters. “It’s really a wonderful feeling to feel — to see the Earth under you.”
Officials at Skydive Chicago added in their statement,
“Skydiving is an activity that many of us keep safely tucked away in our bucket lists. But Dorothy reminds us that it’s never too late to take the thrill of a lifetime.”