104-year-old woman Dorothy Hoffner dies after breaking oldest skydiving record

104-year-old woman Dorothy Hoffner dies after breaking oldest skydiving record

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ViralBear / VideoElephant

Dorothy Hoffner, the Chicago woman who skydived into the record books at the start of October as the oldest person to jump out of a plane, has died aged 104, it has been announced.

Dorothy made the 13,500ft (4,100m) tandem jump on 1 October after touching down at Skydive Chicago Airport in Ottowa, Illinois, though the historic moment is yet to be certified by Guinness World Records.

“Age is just a number,” she told a crowd when her feet were back on solid ground.

Close friend Joe Conant said she was found dead by staff at the Brookdale Lake View assisted living community on Monday morning, and that she had apparently died in her sleep on Sunday night.

Joe said of his friend: “[Dorothy] was indefatigable. She just kept going.

“She was not someone who would take naps in the afternoon, or not show up to any function, dinner or anything else. She was always there, fully present.

“She was a dear friend who was an inspiration.”

Joe is now working through the paperwork to have her be made a record-holder posthumously, though added Dorothy had “no intention” of breaking the skydiving record or securing publicity.

“She wasn’t doing it for any other reason than she wanted to go skydiving,” he said.

A 104-year-old white woman with white hair and a blue jumper, skydiving. Associated Press

The current record was set by Swedish woman Rut Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson, then aged 103, in May last year.

Dorothy previously told reporters that she was considering asking a 109-year-old resident in her building to join her for her next jump.

She had already skydived on her 100th birthday.

In a joint statement, Skydive Chicago and the United States Parachute Association said: “We are deeply saddened by Dorothy’s passing and feel honoured to have been a part of making her world record skydive a reality.

“Skydiving is an activity that many of us safely tuck away in our bucket lists, but 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.”

The Chicago Sun Times reports Dorothy never married, and that her friends do not believe her death is connected to her skydive.

Meanwhile Joe said Dorothy had no immediate family members.

A memorial service is set to take place in early November.

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