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Friends grant 84-year-old woman's final wish to skydive


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OGDEN -- Viola Rindels is once again baking her delicious cream pies. The neighbors say Vi's pies are the best in town. In fact, she's baked over 300 since November -- all baked with love and given as gifts.

"I found that out a long time ago, that serving others just makes you happy," the 84-year-old said.

"It's just the pleasure that she gets from it, I think. She enjoys making people happy," said Vi's daughter, Deana Ashley.

But this week it was Vi's turn to be on the receiving end, as friends and neighbors returned the favor. U.S. Olympic skeleton athlete Noelle Pikus-Pace is Vi's neighbor.

"When my husband and I were visiting with her on Sunday, she said this was a lifelong dream of hers to go skydiving, and we all pulled together," Pikus-Pace said. "It's really cool to be a part of it."

Wednesday afternoon, Vi traveled north to Skydive Ogden. Thanks to those who've received so much from Vi over the years, the widow from Eagle Mountain got her wish -- the final wish of her life.

"I have lymphoma, which is the worst form," Vi explained, "and I was supposed to go in three months to six months, but it's going on seven. I just had a lot of projects I had to get done first, and I've got all the projects pretty well done, so I'm ready to go."

"She is wanting to go home so bad," Deana said. "She feels like she has done, especially after today, everything that she's ever wanted to do. She is very spiritually, more than spiritually ready; and she's very terminal, and it is a matter of just any day."

As family and friends cheered her on, the former hard-working farm girl took the ride of her life: a seven-minute glide to Earth. It was a well-deserved journey for a woman who has donated thousands of pies and given a lifetime of service.

"It was great! I loved it!" Vi said, once she was back on the ground. "I never thought I was gonna get to do it, but I did and I'm so happy!"

Vi says her greatest accomplishment is her posterity: Three children, 10 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and seven great-great grandchildren.

E-mail: kaiken@ksl.com

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Kathy Aiken

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