POCATELLO – For most families, the Matriarch’s wish for a helicopter ride to celebrate her 106th birthday may seem like a surprise. But for Naomi Wilde, it was almost to be expected.
In her sixties, Naomi traveled through Portugal and Spain on foot with her husband and a few friends. For her 104th, she rode an elephant. On Friday, the Portneuf Medical Center and Portneuf Air Rescue teamed up with Grace Assisted Living, where Naomi resides, to take her on a trip above Pocatello.
After a long helicopter ride – including a few passes over Grace’s friends and neighbors and a donut, Naomi shared a few minutes to offer tips on getting the most out of life.
“You never give up,” she said. “Rejoice every day, have fun. Get out of bed, something fun will happen if you make it fun. Make new friends and listen to their stories.
As her son Dean Wilde predicted, that would be her answer, when asked what the secret to enjoying life for as long as she did was, Naomi replied, “If I told you. , it wouldn’t be a secret.
There might be some meaning behind the short answer. Perhaps calling her secret of a busy 106-year-old life a secret, Naomi is telling everyone who listens to her that the key to their own happy lives is to write their own story and find what is right. makes them happy and complete.
Naomi is happiest when she is surrounded by loved ones and pushes the boundaries in some way.
At this point, his family is no longer surprised by his requests and wishes, according to his son.
“It doesn’t surprise me at all, when it comes to her,” Dean said. “She is always up for a new adventure. When they (the administration of Grace Assisted Living) asked her a few months ago what she wanted to do for her birthday, she replied, “Well, I rode an elephant a few years ago, so why not take a helicopter ride? “
This request went to Glenda Stoddard in Grace. And Stoddard got to work contacting anyone in the area with a helicopter.
Eventually, Stoddard struck a deal with a company near Yellowstone. But that failed when that company had to shut down one of its helicopters for repair, according to Portneuf air rescue flight nurse Margot Wolfer. It was then that Portneuf intervened.
“We love to do that kind of thing, to be involved in the community,” Wolfer said. The route Naomi took included a few passages over Grace, where Naomi was able to wave to her fellow citizens.
“They had the window open and I was waving to them,” Naomi said.
“They had balloons and chalk on the sidewalk that said, ‘Happy Birthday Naomi 106’,” said Naomi’s granddaughter Brittany Dudley, who accompanied her grandmother on the flight. “They were waving and applauding. “
“Can you believe 106?” Naomi intervened. “I had to stop and think.”
Naomi’s brother Edwin Nelson was also present to watch her older sister take flight. At 96, Nelson was mobile – discussing his golf game with his family – and as mental as his sister, lending a procedural joke when asked if he would be willing to fly a helicopter for his 106th.
“I don’t want to get to 106,” he said with a laugh, although he said he would fly in a helicopter.
“It was fun,” Naomi said. “I wish I could have seen better, so it would have been even more fun, but it was exciting. … It was an experience I never had.
Naomi Wilde celebrates her 106th birthday with her 96-year-old brother Edwin Nelson and six great-grandchildren on June 4, 2021. | Kalama Hines, EastIdahoNews.com