It would be hard to find anyone more passionate about aviation than 78-year-old Ida Settle, except maybe her half-sister Isabelle. At one time, Ida wanted to be a pilot and Isabelle worked for an aircraft company as a riveter. Ever since the 1980’s they’ve shared their love of airplanes spending time together at airshows and have always wanted to meet the Blue Angels. Brookdale and Wish of a Lifetime granted Ida’s Wish to attend the Chicago Air Show and spend time with the Blue Angels with her 96-year-old sister.
Ida’s love of airplanes began after her mother died, when she was four years old and her father took her every Sunday from their home in Springfield, IL. to the local airfield to eat lunch in the car and watch the airplanes take off. In high school, she dreamed of being a pilot and wanted to apply to a local flying school, but the school didn’t accept women at the time. While Ida was growing up, Isabelle moved to Chicago to work for Douglas Aircraft Company as a riveter on C-54 Skymaster’s, which were used as transport planes during WWII. At 4’10”, Isabelle was assigned with the rest of the shorter women to riveting wings and other tight spaces of the aircraft. Being an African-American woman in the workforce at that time might have been a challenge, but Isabelle didn’t notice. “Everyone was just concentrating on the war ending,” she said. “I wasn’t too focused on race at the time.”
Ida is a resident of Brookdale Plaza Lake View in Chicago. Ida spent most of her career as a radiology technician for Northwestern. She volunteered at Northwestern’s resale shop, Hidden Treasures, while she was employed there. Now retired, she volunteers at least once a week for the Mt. Sinai Resale Shop. Her sister Isabelle lives on her own in Chicago. They are thrilled to be able to meet the Blue Angels at the Chicago Air Show as Ida’s Wish of a Lifetime was granted!