85-year-old woman to skydive in celebration of her birthday
Jul 02, 2014 | 2001 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

85-year-old woman to skydive in celebration of her birthday


Longview, TEXAS July 2, 2014:  Skydiving has been on Hisae (Sue) DeCostanza’s bucket list since she turned 75. As the recreational activity started gaining popularity and people became accustomed to the idea that one could safely parachute out of planes, Sue decided she would like to give it a go. She turned 85 on June 28 and will jump at noon this Saturday, July 5, with a skydiving team at Gladewater Municipal Airport. Sue currently resides at Buckner Westminster Place. Fellow friends and neighbors at the senior living community will be there to support her jump on Saturday and cheer her on.


“I want to go skydiving because I want to see the earth from a wholly different view,” Sue said. “I want to freefall, watch how everything in my sight rapidly changes, then coast peacefully once the parachute is pulled and observe everything in a new perspective. My son and his wife are coming out to support me and watch my jump as well. I think it will be exhilarating.”


Sue has been excitedly preparing for her jump. A Japan native, she crafted some jogging pants with one leg decorated in the American flag and the other decorated in the Japanese flag. Sue is not nervous or afraid to go skydiving. Although many people fear flying in airplanes, let alone jumping from them, she quite enjoys being up in the sky and observing everything below. Sue has traveled many times on flights between Japan and the United States, so she feels very comfortable with her decision. She is looking forward to completing her dream of skydiving, and says if she enjoys it, she plans to do it every year.


“We are all getting older every day, so if we want to do something, we should just make it happen,” Sue said. “Living like this means we won’t have many, if any, regrets. People should do the things they want to do. I like experiencing new things and want to have fun in retirement. I have a couple of things left on my bucket list. I would very much like to visit China and walk on the Great Wall. I would also like to revisit Cheyenne, Wyo., where I lived for many years of my life.”


In addition to skydiving, Sue is intrigued by the idea of riding in a hot air balloon, but other than that, she mostly enjoys traveling and experiencing new things.  She swims for exercise regularly, goes to fitness classes and has recently started going to Zumba Gold classes, which are Zumba classes designed for seniors. An energetic woman with a determination to live life to the fullest, she has not let age slow her down in any regard.


“Sue is an inspiration to us all and we are eager to support her on Saturday,” said Wes Wells, executive director of Buckner Westminster Place. “Even in retirement, we can still experience new things, discover new dreams and wishes, and live life wholeheartedly. Sue does not let her age define her or get in the way of her goals. She is a spirited, outgoing, personable woman with a zeal for life, someone we could all learn from.”


If you are interested in covering this story or would like to set up an interview, please contact or Lauren Witt via phone at 214-890-7912 ext. 42 or email at lwitt@fortegroupinc.com, or Amy Jones via phone at 214-890-7912 ext. 30 or email at ajones@fortegroupinc.com.




Buckner Westminster Place, a Buckner Retirement Services community, is a non-profit, faith-based senior living community offering 89 independent living apartments and patio homes for active adults aged 62 and above.  In addition, the community offers a continuum of care including 30 assisted living apartments, 25 memory care support residences, and 20 private bedrooms in the Green House® homes for skilled nursing care.  Buckner Westminster Place is the only complete CCRC (continuing care retirement community) in Longview which accommodates these four levels of living and care as residents’ needs change.


Located near the Longview Mall and just minutes from area medical centers, Buckner Westminster Place gives residents a beautiful way to live.  The community includes a 16-acre lakeside setting with walking trails and spacious, well-manicured grounds. 


Residents enjoy delicious dining and warm fellowship in beautifully arranged dining rooms.  The community also has an on-site life enrichment coordinator, chapel, full-time chaplain, on-site worship services, beauty/barber salon, and weekly housekeeping/linen service.


A partnership with the Good Shepherd Institute for Healthy Living gives residents and staff access to a wellness center that includes classrooms, a resistance pool, a track, and exercise equipment.  The community provides transportation to the wellness center.


For more information about Buckner Westminster Place, please visit the community website at www.bucknerwestminster.org or call Blake Lambert at (903) 252-6736.




Buckner Retirement Services, Inc. is one of the largest not-for-profit senior living organizations in Texas dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for senior adults and their families by promoting an active, healthy Christian lifestyle while maintaining their independence and dignity. Buckner Retirement Services is part of Buckner International, a global faith-based ministry serving people each year in the United States and worldwide.
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