Stephanie Quiroz/staff photos
                                Covenant Living at the Shores residents and staff with Ageless Aviation pilot and team at the Renton Municipal Airport on Aug. 12.

Stephanie Quiroz/staff photos Covenant Living at the Shores residents and staff with Ageless Aviation pilot and team at the Renton Municipal Airport on Aug. 12.

Covenant Living at the Shores Residents take flight

Tom Norris, Sid Boegl, Doug Wilkinson, and Jack Nelson take flight in a 1942 Boeing Stearman.

On the sunny morning of Aug. 12, four Covenant Living at the Shores residents took off from the Renton Municipal Airport on Dream Flights in a 1942 Boeing Stearman biplane.

Tom Norris (84), Sid Boegl (85), Doug Wilkinson (85) and Jack Nelson (83) each rode in the cockpit of the biplane and took off with smiling faces. The Boeing Stearman was used to train military aviators in the late thirties and early forties. All four residents are U.S. military veterans.

The flights were courtesy of Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation. The nonprofit organization was founded by Darryl Fischer in 2011 to honor U.S. military veterans living in long-term care facilities like Covenant Living. Its mission to “give back to those who have given” is fulfilled by a team of volunteer pilots and crew members.

According to resident services director Roxanne Helleren, this is the fifth year Covenant Living has taken veteran residents on a flight with Ageless Aviation.

“It’s so incredible to be a part of this,” Helleren said. “What really sticks out to me is the generational (gap) between the pilots… the conversation between them, I think that is special. It makes the (residents) feel that their experience years ago was valued and these younger people cared to ask about it.”

Wilkinson, Lt. JG, United States Navy (1956-57), said he was excited to ride in the cockpit.

“I’ve never done this,” he said. “Expectations… this is wonderful. What a privilege to be able to do this.”

Wilkinson served on the USS Brown, a Fletcher-class destroyer, as the main propulsion assistant and then transferred to the USS William Seiverling as an engineering officer.

Ageless Aviation has provided nearly 4,000 Dream Flights to veterans and older adults nationwide. The Dreams Foundation is dedicated to every senior, living and deceased.

Jack Nelson, 83, ready to take flight in the 1942 Boeing Stearman on Aug. 12.

Jack Nelson, 83, ready to take flight in the 1942 Boeing Stearman on Aug. 12.

Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation team members help Jack Nelson get settled in the cockpit on Aug. 12. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo

Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation team members help Jack Nelson get settled in the cockpit on Aug. 12. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo

Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation team members help Jack Nelson get settled in the cockpit on Aug. 12. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo

Jack Nelson (left) and Doug Wilkinson take a look at the 1942 Boeing Stearman biplane on Aug. 12.

Jack Nelson (left) and Doug Wilkinson take a look at the 1942 Boeing Stearman biplane on Aug. 12.

More in Life

Friendship Circles to host their 8th annual Walk, Run, and Community Day

The event will take place on Sept. 22 at Luther Burbank Park.

Libraries are welcoming spaces for everyone | Book Nook

A monthly column from the King County Library System.

Photo by Nityia Photography
                                Dora Gyarmati.
Redefine goals based on virtues to find joy | Health column

A monthly column about mindfulness and wellbeing.

Photo courtesy of Greg Asimakoupoulos
                                Chaplain Greg Asimakoupoulos uses blackberry picking as lessons for life.
Parables of life learned through blackberry picking | On Faith

A monthly column by Greg Asimakoupoulos dealing in matters of faith.

Donna Colosky is superintendent of the Mercer Island School District.
Welcoming students to a new school year

A guest column from Mercer Island School District Superintendent Donna Colosky.

SeaJAM, which kicks off the SJCC Arts + Ideas 2019–2020 season, will present “An Evening with Debra Messing” on Saturday, September 14, at Benaroya Hall’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall. Courtesy photo
SJCC prepares for second annual SeaJAM

SeaJAM will present “An evening with Debra Messing” on Sept. 14.

Photo courtesy of Greg Asimakoupoulos
                                A plaque commemorating the date the Asimakoupoulos family changed its name.
A summer to remember | On Faith

A monthly column dealing in faith.

Ready or not, college is arriving | Guest article

How parents can help their students embark on a college career.

Stephanie Quiroz/staff photos
                                Covenant Living at the Shores residents and staff with Ageless Aviation pilot and team at the Renton Municipal Airport on Aug. 12.
Covenant Living at the Shores Residents take flight

Tom Norris, Sid Boegl, Doug Wilkinson, and Jack Nelson take flight in a 1942 Boeing Stearman.

Leaving for college anxiety | Dear YFS

A monthly advice column about issues faced by Islanders.

Author Claire Gebben gives blacksmithing a go at Bruce Weakly’s private shop on Whidbey Island. Gebben sought to learn the art of blacksmithing to better understand the life of her great-great grandfather, who immigrated to Cleveland in the mid-1800s. Photo courtesy of Claire Gebben
Island author Gebben’s work named Indie Book Awards finalist

“How We Survive Here: Families Across Time” reveals genealogical journey.

Advice for addressing marijuana use in college students | Dear YFS

Dear YFS is an advice column with reader submitted or posed questions from the Island.