Turning 80 is a major point in most people’s lives. While most seniors love having a card shower or a nice family get-together to celebrate, Betty Merry recently celebrated her 80th birthday by free falling from an airplane at 11,500 feet! Her birthday is actually Dec. 2, but it would be too cold to jump in December, so in late August, she went to West Virginia Skydivers in Lesage, W.Va. Cheered on by nearly 50 of her family and friends, she bravely climbed into the plane and did her first tandem skydive. Merry was thrilled to have so many loved ones there to witness her adventure. She’s been planning the event for two years. When she heard that President George Bush went skydiving on his 80th birthday, she decided that she wanted to do it, too. She has long been nicknamed “The Blond Bomber”, and now the name fits her even more. Merry has lived on the James Merry Farm in Bidwell since 1954. She is a proud mother of six, with 12 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. (Her 14th is due this month.) She is a proud member of St. Louis Catholic Church, an avid bowler, and a member of the Rio Grande Arthritis Swim Class. She plans to skydive again on her 85th birthday.