The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Breaking News

Local News

May 25, 2014

Flight of fancy

85-year-old man crosses skydiving off his bucket list

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP — Dick Eastlick was not about to be shown up by the 41st president of the United States, George H.W. Bush.

Inspired by Bush’s skydiving for his 75th, 80th, and 85th birthdays, the Greenville man took his own flying leap on Saturday to celebrate his 85th birthday.

“It’s adrenaline,” Eastlick said of his skydiving experiences. “It’s the biggest thrill in the world.”

He made his first jump when he was 72, followed by his second at 80, and once he saw that Bush jumped on his 85th birthday, he made up his mind to do it again.

Eastlick said he had always wanted to jump but never seemed to have the finances while raising and supporting his family.

“After I retired and got old, I decided I was going to jump,” Eastlick said.

As he’s freefalling over the Grove City area at 120 mph, Eastlick said he looks all around and appreciates everything he sees.

“At 500 feet, when the parachute opens, it’s just total silence. It’s just beautiful,” Eastlick said.

Cecil Smith, owner of Skydive Pennsylvania, which is based at the Grove City airport, joked with Eastlick before the jump.

“He had to wait a few years to come. He called me like 40 years ago and I said ‘Hey, you have to be more mature. We can’t have any radical teenagers coming.’ So he called me the other day and said, ‘I’ll be 85, I’m good to go.’ ”

Dick is no stranger to taking chances in life.

He was a “career military man,” who served for 21 years. He was a medic for a tour in Vietnam and made dentures for his remaining years in the military.

His wife of 62 years, Phillis, said they’ve moved 40 times all over the U.S. from Key West, Fla., to Washington state.

“I got the list if anyone wants to know,” she joked. “I have all the addresses.”

They lived in Texas where Dick taught dental technology at a college.

They spent time in Alaska, where Dick worked as a commercial fisherman. His daughter married a commercial fisherman and lives there with her family and one of her two brothers.

He’s also enjoyed traveling the country as a semi truck driver, Dick said.

After traveling all over the world, skydiving was the last item on Eastlick’s bucket list.

Phillis said she wasn’t sure Dick was going to skydive this time because he’s had many illnesses.

He’s battled bladder, skin and lung cancers, and recently learned he’s clear of all cancer. Dick also suffered a stroke and, in 2007, he underwent triple heart bypass surgery.

After all that, skydiving seems like a minor challenge.

So, when Phillis was asked at the beauty shop Saturday morning what she would do if something went wrong, she just laughed.

“We have strong faith. If anything happens, we’re covered,” she joked. “We’ll have a beautiful funeral. We’re ready to go to heaven.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Doss: Public has right to know

    A major part of Farrell council’s work session Monday was spent deciding whether or not to inform the audience about an unofficial police proposal from the City of Sharon.

    July 30, 2014

  • Budget falling short despite tax hike

    Farrell residents may have seen an income tax increase this year, but the city isn’t seeing the extra dollars City Manager Michael Ceci budgeted for.

    July 30, 2014

  • oakwood graves 1 Resting together

    Visitors to Oakwood Cemetery would see many  familiar local names if they looked down the hillside to the left just inside the gate on Sharon’s North Oakland Avenue.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Police: Kids in car were OK

    The mother of two young children was drunk and passed out when police found them all in a car parked along a city street, Sharon police said.

    July 29, 2014

  • To talk – or not – about police

    The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge A span of time

    Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo