If there is one word to describe 92-year-old grandmother Dorothy Ellis from Kansas, it would be remarkable.

The word daring also comes to mind. In August 2012, Ellis was sick. Only one week after her diagnosis she announced that she wanted to fly in a powered parachute.

Ellis’s granddaughter, Holly, described it in her February 23, 2013 blog as  “a cross between a lawn mower and chitty-chitty-Bang-Bang.”

Ellis’s dream of flying for the last time concerned her family, but not Ellis. Age was just a number in her mind. Holly was not only surprised to hear the news, but was worried for her grandmother. In her phone conversation, she said, “Gram you can’t be serious about riding in this flying death-trap.” Ellis replied, “Well, at my age, I figure I’m going to go one way or another.”

Her quest to live life to the fullest was to take her last final flight, and on September 18th she did just that. Ellis was flying high on life as her family watched her incredible moment flying over the horizon.

The family videotaped her inspirational journey, and the family chose the song “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” from the Wizard of Oz. As Holly said, “When you have a grandmother named Dorothy from Kansas, well, what other song is there?”

Ellis’s memory of flying over the rainbow lives on. She passed away on November 2, 2012.


Christine is a multimedia producer. She is the host of Run With It, running, fitness and health on Novus TV. She also hosts her own radio show on CJMQ radio and is a nationally published writer. www.runwithit.ca Twitter: @christineruns Run With It YouTube Channel – Run With It

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