104-Year-Old Woman Passes Away After Setting Skydiving Record

“Age is only a number,” Those were the inspiring words Dorothy Hoffner told the crowd that gathered to watch her set the record for the oldest person to skydive.

Earlier this month, the Chicago woman pulled off the incredible feat despite being 104 and using a walker! Although Hoffner wished to embark on more heart-racing adventures, the daredevil took her final breath on Monday, October 9.

Dorothy Hoffner Dies After Gaining International Recognition For Her Skydiving Record

The new skydiving queen passed away peacefully in her sleep, according to her close friend Joe Conant. Speaking to the Chicago Tribune about her death, Hoffner’s loved one noted he always believed nothing could stop the 104-year-old’s untamed spirit.

Dorothy Hoffner, 104, greets supporters after becoming the oldest person in the world to skydive on Oct. 1, 2023, at Skydive Chicago

“She was just indefatigable. She just kept going,” Conant said of his late pal, whom he affectionately called “grandma.” Before beating Sweden’s Rut Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson’s title as the oldest Skydiver at 103, Hoffner dreamt about being in free fall. The deceased claimed the sensation woke her up.

The lively Chicagoan’s dream came true last week when she jumped off a plane to make a new skydiving record. Pictures and videos of Hoffner’s jump went viral, showing the 104-year-old beaming brightly as she bravely made the 13,500-foot fall.

The deceased was brimming with joy following her safe landing as she shook off her parachute, grabbed her walker, and moved over to the crowd that watched her unforgettable moment. “Age is only a number, ya’ know?” Hoffner humbly chimed.

Although she did not brag about her historic achievement to onlookers, the buzz surrounding her Guinness World Record attempt allowed the proud grandma to prank her loved ones. The day after skydiving, Hoffner’s family visited her at the Brookdale Lake View senior living community, unaware of her recent feat. 

When her loved ones arrived, the centenarian gave them a copy of the Chicago Tribune. An image of Hoffner’s skydiving adventure was planted on the front page alongside the headline, “Chicagoan sets record as oldest skydiver.”

Recalling their shocked reactions to the 104-year-old’s achievement, Conant revealed the family had exclaimed: “Dorothy, you never told us you went skydiving!” while Hoffner cheekily replied, “Well, you never asked!” The local newspapers were not the only ones covering the story as the centenarian gained international fame.

Dorothy Hoffner, 104, becomes the oldest person in the world to sky-dive on Oct. 1, 2023, at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois

Millions became interested in Hoffner, an attention the Chicago woman initially disliked. Weeks before her appearance at Skydive Chicago, the deceased threatened to bring a cold steak to her jump and sock Conant in the eye for announcing her record attempt. “He’d need to ice it,” she joked.

Conant, happy to be spared the black eye, noted his longtime friend never wanted the fame. “She wasn’t doing it because of the world record. She was doing it because she wanted to go skydiving,” he declared. Despite disliking the buzz surrounding her jump, the 104-year-old eventually embraced the idea.

As journalists worldwide battled for interviews with Hoffner, Conant claimed his pal did not act her age by never napping or canceling plans. Given her vibrant nature and what seemed like an ability to escape the cons of time, no one, especially Conant, expected the beloved grandma to die so soon.

Hoffer Wanted To Ride In A Hot Air Balloon Before Her Death

“It came as quite a shock,” he stated about her death. “She gave an incredible amount of her spirit and life to all of us, and it inspired all of us.”

Days before her passing, Conant noted Hoffner wanted to take another trip to the skies in a hot-air balloon. However, her wish came true in a different manner.

Skydive Chicago and the United States Parachute Association also expressed sadness over Hoffner’s death. Their statement to PEOPLE read, “We are deeply saddened by Dorothy’s passing and feel honored to have been a part of making her world-record skydive a reality.”

Dorothy Hoffner, 104, becomes the oldest person in the world to sky-dive on Oct. 1, 2023, at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois

“Skydiving is an activity that many of us safely tucked away in our bucket lists. But Dorothy reminds us that it’s never too late to take the thrill of a lifetime,” the farewell message continued. “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.”

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