Scotty Rides in a Hot Air Balloon

Scotty, 93, has spent her life staring up at the sky. She was a meteorologist as a young adult in the 1940s, a pioneer in her time as one of the only female meteorologists in the country.

“I went to the weather bureau and took a civil service test and ended up going to Kansas City. This was during wartime; if you passed a certain test they would assign you an associates degree, I got mine in meteorology. I worked for the weather bureau, took observations and recorded the weather…I was one of four women meteorologists in the country,” she recounted.

However, while she spent so much time dedicated to her metreoology work, she was never able to spend time floating in the sky that she dedicated her life to studying. Scotty’s wish of a lifetime was to take a hot air balloon ride.

Two times over her lifetime, Scotty tried to take a balloon ride but both times the weather prevented her from making this dream a reality. Thanks to Brookdale and Wish of a Lifetime, Scotty was finally able to take that hot air balloon ride that she has been dreaming about since she was a young girl. She could hardly contain her excitement—”this will mean the world to me!”

Scotty’s life is a story of unselfishness with a pattern of putting the needs of others ahead of her own. She grew up on a homestead in Iowa, where she lived with her ailing grandparents, parents, aunt and siblings all under one roof. Tragically, her brother had a brain tumor and his wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. They both died within one year of each other, leaving behind six children, ages 10-20. Scotty took the kids in and played a huge part in raising them, all of whom she is still close to. She was married to her husband for nearly 40 years and was his primary caregiver when he became ill and passed away 10 years ago. Even while caring for so many people in her life, she made time to volunteer for 22 years in a hospital and was very active in the American Meteorology Society.

In July of 2016, Scotty took to the skies in a hot air balloon over the beautiful foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado. As it turns out, the day that she took her flight was actually what would have been her husband’s 93rd birthday. After her memorable experience she declared, “It was wonderful…the sky is the place for me!”

Photo credit: Kimberly Sheppard, Kimberly Sheppard Photography

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September 13, 2016