There's a first time for everything. At 92 years old, Faye Thallman flew in a plane for the first time last month thanks to a non-profit organization that grants wishes for seniors.
"It was lovely, a chance in a hundred years. It was just very delightful," Thallman said from her home at Freedom Pointe in Minnetonka. "I like to try crazy things."
Thallman's wish to fly in a plane was fulfilled by Wish of a Lifetime, a nonprofit that grants wishes for seniors. The organization has a partnership with Brookdale Senior Living.
"Once a wish is approved by our committee to be worked on, we coordinate with local businesses and nonprofits to find and provide whatever services the wish requires," said Sally Webster, wish fulfillment supervisor at Wish of a Lifetime.
A former program coordinator at Freedom Pointe, a Brookdale Senior Living assisted living community, got to know Thallman, who is living in the memory care unit of the facility because she has dementia, and soon learned flying was a dream of hers.
"I'm just an old bat, trying to get by in this world. Trying to reach heaven in an airplane," Thallman said.
Kielyn Anderson, marketing coordinator at Freedom Pointe, said the coordinator filled out an application for Thallman to get her wish granted.
"She's fun and kind and the staff love her and we thought it would be appropriate to try and give her some sort of reward," Anderson said.
"Our organization's mission is to inspire an entire generation and to create a cultural shift on how we view aging. We accomplish this by granting the lifelong wishes of deserving senior citizens, and sharing their amazing stories," Webster said.
On Sept. 28 Thallman flew in a seaplane through Adventure Seaplanes in Lino Lakes. The 40-minute ride was her first time on a plane.
"Quite an interesting trip," she said, about the ride that happened three weeks ago. "I saw a lot of things that normally you wouldn't even think about looking at."
Thallman was born in Minneapolis. Her first job was working in a hotel as a cashier in the main dining room. In World War II she worked at the Twin Cities Ordnance Plant, an ammunition factory in New Brighton. She was also an active member of her church, helping with cleaning and serving in the church choir.
Thallman said she likes to try new things and she keeps learning every day.
"The good, the better, the best - never let it rest so the good gets better and the better best," she said. Thallman is often heard saying catchy phrases like that in Freedom Pointe.
"She's always been full of life and fun," Anderson said.