“Age is just a number,” Dorothy Hoffner told the Chicago Tribune, after leaping from a plane last Sunday.
Joe Conant, A close friend of Hoffner’s told ABC7 that she was found dead Monday morning at the Brookdale Lake View senior living community. She appeared to have died in her sleep.
“She was indefatigable. She just kept going,” he said Tuesday. “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.”
Hoffner’s appetite for new experiences is her legacy
Just a week earlier, Hoffner became the oldest known person to skydive. Skydive Chicago is working with the Guinness World Record to certify Hoffner’s jump as a record.
Sweden’s Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson earned the Guinness World Record record in May 2022 when she was 103 years old.
In a statement, the group told USA TODAY members were “deeply saddened” by Hoffner’s death.
“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,” the statement said.
“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.”
A 13,500 foot leap of courage
On Sept. 30, Hoffner ditched her walker and instead boarded a Skyvane plane in Ottawa, Illinois, 85 miles south of Chicago.
It was her second time parachuting from a plane. She first went skydiving when she was 100 years old and had to be pushed out of the plane. This time around, she joyfully led the tandem 13,500-foot jump.
“Let’s go, let’s go, Geronimo!” Hoffner said after she was seated on the plane, the Tribune reported.
The entire dive took seven minutes.
As her landed, friends rushed to her side to congratulate her, the Tribune reported.
“Skydiving is a wonderful experience, and it’s nothing to be afraid of,” she told NBC Chicago. “Just do it.”