Stanley Rohrer (right), a double amputee who turned 90 on Jan. 7, shakes hands with tandem instructor Romulo Rangel (left) after their jump at Skydive Elsinore on Jan. 3, 2020 in Lake Elsinore, Calif. (Eduardo Contreras/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)
Photo: Eduardo Contreras
Photo: Eduardo Contreras

Amputee marks 90th birthday with parachute jump

“I wasn’t scared at all because I was too busy enjoying the view,” said Rohrer, a retired teacher from Valley Center who made the leap at Skydive Elsinore in Lake Elsinore to celebrate his 90th birthday.

Although Rohrer wasn’t the oldest jumper that school manager Romulo Rangel has taken up for a tandem jump, he was the most unusual. Rohrer lost both of his legs to blood clots in the past 10 years and he needed a specially designed jumpsuit to ensure that his body didn’t slip out of the harness that connected him to Rangel during the five-minute descent from an altitude of more than 13,000 feet.

Rohrer’s wife of 50 years, Barbara, seemed equally unworried about her husband’s feat of derring-do. He’s also an avid wheelchair tennis player and rough-water kayaker who usually plays and paddles with people from 20 to 70 years his junior. Competing with people half his age has helped keep her husband young at heart, she said.

When asked the secret to his good health and longevity, Rohrer said it involves being active and surrounding himself with young people.

“People my own age don’t do the kinds of things I want to do. I like being active and I like being outdoors,” he said.

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