Irving, 90, of Rancho Mirage, CA, is a warm hearted, gentle spirit with a passion for flying helicopters. When Irving was young, he served in the United States Navy from 1943-1946 beginning when he was 18 years old. He was stationed on an air carrier and had the opportunity to fly in a helicopter during his service, igniting a deep curiosity and interest for flying. Since then he flew over many areas in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s, including Alcatraz, the Hawaiian Islands and other various monuments. Irving’s Wish of a Lifetime was to fly in a helicopter over Mount Rushmore, a buck list item he shared with his late wife.
Irving, born in New York, raised a family of two children with his soulmate and best friend, Helen, in California. He and Helen were married for 51 years and he refers to her as his angel. It was love at first sight when they met on a blind date, and they were married six weeks later. Irving was as deeply in love with Helen as he still is today. The passion Irving had for flying shifted to a passion that he and Helen shared together after the first time they flew together. They went to on fly over sites like Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon together. In 1959 they watched the movie thriller “North by North West” together and it was then that they decided to add flying over Mount Rushmore to their joint bucket list. Unfortunately, Helen passed away ten years ago and they were never able to complete this bucket list item together. Irving still feels the pain of losing Helen today more than ever. Flying over Mount Rushmore is the best way Irving knows how to honor his love.
Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale were thrilled to make Irving’s wish a reality by sending him up in the sky to experience Mount Rushmore from above. Irving is very touched to have had this opportunity to complete this bucket list item with Helen in spirit. Irving was able to briefly co-pilot his helicopter ride and had a blast doing so. He and his companion Don had a wonderful weekend exploring the Black Hills and visiting Mount Rushmore park. A big thank you to Sheena Meyers with Meyers Arts and Photography for capturing Irving’s wish!