Deanna Kent "Skydancer"
October 1956 – April 1997
Mike Speaks About Deanna
When people write about someone who’s passed on the person suddenly becomes a god or goddess. Now I was around Deanna a lot in the end and I never actually saw her walk on water, quite the opposite. Anyone that wanted to see her she made time for. It always took a terrific toll but she always made the effort. Now that I think about it I can’t remember a time that she wasn’t willing to talk to anyone that wanted to talk to her.
I’ve known Norman longer than I knew Deanna but I came to know them as a team in their lives together. On all the film projects that I’ve worked with him there wasn’t one day that passed that Norman wasn’t on the phone to her at least 3 times talking to her about the project, getting her opinion, getting her support. She was definitely the woman behind the man.
I give Deanna the credit for getting Freestyle out to the world. Norman didn’t see the art in Freestyle at first and it was Deanna that persuaded him to give it a chance. When I say persuade it may have gone something like” I hope you find that couch comfortable because that’s where your going to be living if…………..”
If Deanna is to be remembered for anything it has to be her love of flight. Human flight, jet flight, wind tunnel flight, whatever got the human body into the air, she loved to be there. Though she never was a competitor in Freestyle, it had her support from the beginning. The problem with Deanna was she was so proud of anyone who tried. At the first two competitions Norm, Deanna, and myself were the judges. I would have the most critical score, Norm would be in the middle, and Deanna would be giving out 10′s like they were going out of style.
Her eye for the beauty of freefall wasn’t confined to Freestyle. In fact just a few weeks ago we were watching the latest Freefly video from the Desert and she could hardly sit still she was so excited. She could see the control ,finesse and potential of this new form of human flight. My father told me when I was kicked out of the nest” What ever you do in this world try and leave it better than you found it” With this thought in mind, Deanna, I definitely think you are the one who deserves a 10.
Mike “Michigan” Sandberg, May 13, 1997
Deanna, you are greatly missed by all of us who call the sky our home. You have been an inspiration, as our sister, as a human being, and as a legacy to skydancing and skydiving……..and we miss you……..