Aging World War II Vet Gets Final Wish To Fly


TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)__From favorite meals at Topeka's Bobo's to family reunions, the Topeka Presbyterian Manor has been granting final wishes to patients under their care.

Their latest wish, took the program to new heights. 93 year old Clifford Everitt has received numerous honors and medals from his service piloting a C-47 Dakota in World War II.

Now receiving long term care at Topeka Presbyterian Manor with the help of Grace Hospice care since 2008, Cliff has lived an amazing life but had one last wish. To fly the skies one last time.

Two months ago, Topeka's Presbyterian Manor created a Dream Team, with the idea to grant final wishes to residents receiving long term care. For Clifford Everitt, that decision was easy.

Cliff flew a C-47 Dakota during World War II, and his wish to fly, was a month in the making.

Rudy Wrenick, flight instructor at Billard Airport in Topeka, handled the take off and landing, but Cliff took the controls for a full thirty minutes, and got great reviews.

Talia Hill, an employee at the manor was along for the ride and said, "He flew amazing, and did a great job, it was like the pilot was flying. All the turns were real smooth."

Cliff flew over downtown Topeka, the State Capitol and east over Lake Perry and the KU campus.

Sitting in the cockpit of the Cessna 182 plane was the granting of Clifford Everett's last wish, but it was almost equally rewarding for members of the dream team who made it happen.

Lee Geary was responsible for calling pilots that could take Cliff into the air. She said, "It's so rewarding, you work so hard to make end of life and these people's lives as rewarding as possible and just seeing this happen feels really great."

Presbyterian Manor currently has 95 long term residents that they hope to grant final wishes too.

Staff members say the next one in the works is a KU basketball game.


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