Marilyn Van Huss’s late husband served in the U.S. Air Force for 30 years, flying more than 100 missions as a fighter pilot in Vietnam and receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross.
But last week it was her turn to take flight, as Van Huss, 87, soared into the wild blue yonder aboard a Boeing Stearman biplane. Joining her were seven other Jacksonville-area Arbor Terrace residents, who participated in the flights arranged by the Ageless Aviation Dream Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to honoring seniors and U.S. military veterans.
Participants included 92-year-old Arbor Terrace Ponte Vedra resident Arthur Jensen. A retired Merchant Marine captain, Jensen served during World War II, and recalled transporting 200 German prisoners to a POW camp in Oran, Algeria. The oldest participant in the Nov. 8 flights was 103-year-old Mada Allen. A retired teacher, Allen flew in memory of her late husband, Navy veteran A.W. Brann; and her son, Bob, who served in the Army.
Following the flights, the Arbor Company presented Ageless Aviation with a $2,200 donation.
“In the past year, Ageless Aviation has enabled 130 residents in 22 of our Arbor communities to realize their dreams of flight,” said Laura Ellen Christian, vice president of engagement for the Arbor Company. “The $2,200 expresses our appreciation with a donation of $100 for each community they have flown for us this year.”