104-year-woman dies after marking ‘record-breaking’ skydive from 13,000 feet

A fearless 104-year-old who made a potentially record-breaking jump from a plane from 13,500 feet has died just days later.

Dorothy Hoffner, from Chicago, USA, could still be certified in the Guiness Book of Records as the oldest person ever to jump out of a aircraft after her leap on October 1. 

During her incredible tandem daredevil skydive Ms Hoffner exclaimed “Let’s go, let’s go, Geronimo” before adding after landing “age is just a number”.

Sadly the centenarian has now died before learning if she would be officially recognised for her amazing feat. 

Ms Hoffner’s close friend, Joe Conant, said she was found dead on Monday morning by staff at the Brookdale Lake View senior living community having apparently died in her sleep on Sunday night.

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Mr Conant said he was working through paperwork to ensure that Guinness World Records certifies Ms Hoffner posthumously as the world’s oldest skydiver, but he expects that will take some time.

The current record was set in May 2022 by 103-year-old Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson of Sweden.

Mr Conant said Ms Hoffner didn’t skydive to break a record, he said she had so thoroughly enjoyed her first jump when she was aged 100 that she just wanted to do it again.

He said: “She had no intention of breaking the record. And she had no interest in any publicity or anything. She wasn’t doing it for any other reason than she wanted to go skydiving.”

Skydive Chicago, who took Ms Hoffner on her latest jump, and the United States Parachute Association celebrated Hoffner in a joint statement Tuesday.

They said: “We are deeply saddened by Dorothy’s passing and feel honored 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.”

Mr Conant said Ms Hoffner worked for more than four decades as a telephone operator with Illinois Bell, which later became AT&T, and retired 43 years ago. The lifelong Chicago resident never married, and Mr Conant said she had no immediate family members. A memorial service will be held in early November.

Mr Conant said: “She was a dear friend who was an inspiration.”

Ms Hoffner was not the incredible pernsioner who proved age is no barrier to amazing achievements. In July Italian Txaro Tomasena, 77, became the oldest woman to swim the 10 miles across the Strait of Gibraltar.

And in Britain hospital radio volunteer John Cavie proved to be the oldest spinner in town when he was crowed the world’s oldest DJ aged 95 last month

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