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Thursday, May 5, 2016

79-year-old realizes her longtime skydiving dream

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Seventy-nine-year-old Lois Clark did a tandem skydive with a professional skydiver at Skydive Greensburg on June 19.
GREENCASTLE -- Lois Clark will be 80 years old on Jan. 27.

After all these years, she's developed a serious addiction.

It's skydiving.

On June 19, Lois went skydiving for the first time.

"It was something I wanted to do for my 80th birthday, but I didn't want to skydive in January," Lois said.

Lois' husband Marvin and their children were all supportive of her desire.

"They all said, 'Fine, you can go, but I don't want to,'" she said.

Marvin went along to watch Lois' skydive. The occasion was also witnessed by Lois' daughter Claudia, her son Alan and his wife Jan and Lois' granddaughter Amanda Morris and her husband Topher.

"I think Topher kind of wants to go now," Claudia said.

Lois, who resides in Greencastle, did her skydive through Skydive Greensburg. The dive she did was a tandem, which means she jumped while tethered to a professional skydiver.

Lois Clark's daughter Claudia said although her mother's jump did not make her want to skydive herself, it inspired her in other ways.
Lois did her skydive on a Saturday. She and her family arrived in Greensburg the Friday before and watched others skydiving.

"It looked very safe and you could tell they were all having a good time," Lois said.

Lois purchased a seven-minute DVD of her experience. Through the entire video, the person interviewing her asks Lois if she is nervous.

She replies that she isn't, but that she is excited.

"It's been a real inspiration to me to watch that DVD," said Claudia. "I mean, I'm not going skydiving, but it's inspirational to me in other ways."

Lois said from the moment she made the reservation for her skydive, she never once considered backing out.

"The most dangerous part of the whole day was the trip over driving on the highway," she said with a chuckle. "I knew I was harnessed to a professional."

Before Lois could make her jump, she had to go through an hour-long training session.

Lois said she couldn't even describe the feeling of jumping from a plane at 13,500 feet.

"We free fell for one minute, then (the instructor) opened the chute and we glided down for about six minutes," she said. "It was so beautiful."

The instructor pulled the chute once he and Lois had fallen to 5,000 feet, she said.

Lois got the idea to commemorate her 80th birthday by skydiving from a former president.

"When I heard George H.W. Bush did it for his 80th birthday, I got to thinking it was something I'd like to do," she said.

Dozens of people skydive each day at Skydive Greensburg. Lois said 80 people went the day she did, and that 20 people were in her plane.

While Lois loved her skydive, she said she could see how it wouldn't be for everyone.

"I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who was scared of heights or flying," she said.

Lois said now she's hooked to skydiving.

"I've already scheduled my second jump for next June," she said. "They give you your second jump for half-price ... I couldn't turn it down."

Even that second jump, Lois suspects, won't be her last.

"It's addicting," she said. "I know I'm going to want to do it again ... it could get kind of expensive."

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You Go Lois!! That is awesome.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Thu, Jul 22, 2010, at 5:41 AM

Great Lois - I made a jump in 1974 when my husband and I managed a county airport in Canon City, Colorado. Except mine was not tandem. I had an all day prep session and then it was jump time.I jumped out of a Cessna 180 and only myself, the instructor and the pilot were in the plane. It was fantastic and I did not even land on a cactus but on my target. I would have loved to continue jumping but I found out I was pregnant so had to be sensible. Great sport. Congragulations Lois

-- Posted by Nit on Thu, Jul 22, 2010, at 8:09 AM

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