Tragically, Dorothy Hoffner, a 104-year-old woman from Chicago, passed away just days after attempting an impressive skydiving record. With a contagious smile on her face, Dorothy made her history-making jump in the skies above Ottawa, Illinois.

Accompanied by a dive instructor, Dorothy boarded a plane and ascended to an astonishing height of 13,500 feet. With adrenaline pumping through her veins, she jumped out of the plane, experiencing the thrill of free fall for a few heart-pounding seconds before the parachute was deployed. The exhilarating experience lasted a total of seven minutes before Dorothy and her instructor gracefully touched down at Skydive Chicago. In celebration, the centenarian exclaimed, “Age is just a number!”

Hoffner falls through the air with tandem jumper Derek Baxter on 1 October 2023 at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois.


Reflecting on her skydiving adventure, Dorothy boldly stated, “What has age got to do with what you’re doing? I’m 104 years old, so what?” Her inspiring attitude and determination to push boundaries earned her the admiration of many.

Potential World Record and Guinness Book Recognition

Following her remarkable skydiving achievement, the Guinness Book of World Records has expressed keen interest in scrutinizing the evidence to potentially bestow upon Dorothy the title of a new record holder. A spokesperson representing the renowned organization is eagerly anticipating the submission of Dorothy’s daring feat for meticulous evaluation by their esteemed Records Management Team. This anticipation is accompanied by a sense of bitter sweetness, as Dorothy regrettably passed away before receiving confirmation of her potential inclusion in the annals of record-breaking achievements.

The current record for the oldest person to partake in a skydive is held by Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson, an intrepid 103-year-old woman hailing from Sweden. Her fearless leap from a plane in May of the previous year made headlines and set a high bar for others to aspire to. Dorothy’s audacious attempt, had it been recognized, would have undoubtedly added a compelling chapter to the legacy of those who dare to defy age and gravity in pursuit of their dreams.

The Passing of a Remarkable Woman

Tragically, Dorothy Hoffner will never know if her skydiving adventure secured her a place among the record-breaking legends. She was found deceased at the Brookdale Lake View senior living community, where she resided.

Joe Conant, a close friend of Dorothy, shared the heartbreaking news, conveying his deep admiration for her indomitable spirit and unwavering zest for life. In an emotional statement, he expressed, “She was indefatigable. She just kept going. She was always there, fully present. She kept going, always.”

Dorothy Hoffner, 104, gets up after her jump on Oct. 1, 2023.

@Chicago Tribune

Born on December 17, 1918, Ms. Hoffner’s life, characterized by its tranquility, underwent a brief yet remarkable transformation in her final days. She cherished her evenings watching “MAS*H” reruns, but her world suddenly became a whirlwind of attention from reporters and television producers.

Dorothy’s passing left a void in the hearts of those who knew her, including the team at Skydive Chicago. In a poignant tribute, they revealed their grief while expressing their gratitude at having been a part of Dorothy’s world-record skydive. They emphasized that Dorothy’s remarkable story serves as a reminder that it is never too late to embrace the thrill of a lifetime.

The Importance of Pursuing Dreams at Any Age

Dorothy’s life serves as a poignant example of why it’s crucial to pursue dreams at any age. Despite her advancing years, she decided to chase her lifelong dream of becoming a painter. Her story demonstrates that age should never be a barrier to achieving one’s aspirations.

  1. Lifelong Fulfillment: Pursuing dreams keeps individuals engaged and fulfilled throughout their lives. Whether it’s starting a new career, learning a musical instrument, or traveling the world, these pursuits inject enthusiasm and purpose into daily routines.
  2. Self-Discovery: Dream chasing is an avenue for self-discovery. As people venture outside their comfort zones, they gain valuable insights into their capabilities and uncover hidden talents, fostering personal growth and development.
  3. Inspiring Future Generations: Pursuing dreams at any age sets an inspiring example for younger generations. It reinforces the idea that dreams are attainable regardless of one’s age and encourages them to pursue their own passions fearlessly.
  4. Breaking Stereotypes: Society often imposes stereotypes about when certain accomplishments are achievable. By pursuing dreams later in life, individuals challenge these stereotypes and redefine what’s possible.
  5. Emotional Well-being: The pursuit of dreams is closely tied to increased emotional well-being. It provides a sense of purpose and accomplishment, combating feelings of stagnation and regret.
  6. Building Resilience: The journey to fulfilling dreams often involves overcoming obstacles, which builds resilience and adaptability. This resilience can be invaluable in facing life’s challenges.
  7. Leaving a Legacy: Pursuing dreams can result in the creation of meaningful legacies that impact not only the dreamer but also the community and future generations.

Dorothy’s story serves as a powerful testament to the significance of pursuing dreams at any age. It fosters personal growth, inspires others, and contributes to a life rich with purpose and fulfillment

The Extraordinary Life of Dorothy Hoffner

Dorothy Hoffner’s life journey is a testament to her deep roots in the Chicago community. Born and raised in Garfield Park, she cherished her hometown for half a century before relocating to Jefferson Park. It was in 1938 that Dorothy embarked on a remarkable career with Illinois Bell, starting as a dedicated operator. Remarkably, her retirement spanned as many years as her illustrious career, a remarkable feat that left an indelible mark on her colleagues and the telecommunications industry as a whole, as attested by Conant. In her final decade, Dorothy found solace and comfort at Brookdale Lake View, concluding her life’s journey with the same grace and resilience that defined her throughout her remarkable life.

Celebrating Dorothy’s Life

In honor of Dorothy Hoffner’s remarkable life, a memorial service will be held in November. This gathering will provide an opportunity for her loved ones and the community to come together and celebrate the lasting impact she left behind. It will be a time to reflect on her adventurous spirit, unwavering determination, and the joy she brought to those around her.

As we say farewell to Dorothy, let us remember her as a trailblazer who lived life on her own terms. Her story will continue to inspire others to break free from limitations and pursue their dreams with unwavering tenacity. Dorothy Hoffner may have departed this world, but her legacy of resilience, courage, and a thirst for adventure will live on.

Dorothy Hoffner Obituary and Cause of Death, What Happened to Dorothy  Hoffner? How Did Dorothy Hoffner Die? - News

Dorothy’s unparalleled courage and zest for life serve as a testament to the boundless possibilities that age should never limit. Dorothy’s daring feat reminds us that dreams can be pursued at any stage in life, and her legacy remains a shining example of resilience and determination. As we commemorate her extraordinary accomplishment, let us carry forward her unwavering commitment to living life to the fullest. Dorothy will forever be remembered as an enduring source of inspiration, proving that age is no barrier to achieving the extraordinary.

Soaring Beyond Boundaries and Inspiring Lifelong Dreams

Dorothy Hoffner’s inspirational story serves as a powerful reminder that age should never serve as a deterrent to our aspirations and dreams. Her remarkable skydiving adventure and the enduring legacy she leaves behind inspire us to shatter the confines of societal norms and seize every opportunity with unwavering determination. Dorothy’s life exemplifies the importance of living each day with boundless enthusiasm, regardless of our age. Her story underscores the timeless truth that it is never too late to embark on new adventures, challenge our limits, and make a lasting impact on the world. Dorothy Hoffner’s journey encourages us all to embrace the infinite possibilities life has to offer.


Guinness Book of World Records
Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson
Pursuing Dreams at Any Age