Joe Murray decided that retirement was not really for him in a traditional sense. Rather than sit at home and relax, he planned his “bucket list” — what we here at FiftyForward call “FiftyForward Firsts” — a list of things that still need “doing.” In Forward Focus two issues ago, we told you about Murray fulfilling a lifelong dream of getting a pilot’s license. He began flying gliders and was thrilled about being in the sky. He mentioned to his interviewer, Susan Sizemore, FiftyForward communications director, that his next bucket list item was to skydive. Was anyone willing to do it with him?

Murray’s dream came true this past month as he was joined by two friends to make it happen. Joe was joined by Dan Surface and Skip Dillon to share this exhilarating FiftyForward First. Dan Surface is a “retired” retiree having worked in sales and marketing management before moving on to nonprofit fundraising and management. A certified life coach, he is on a mission to connect men, particularly retired men, with one another and in the community in meaningful ways.

“We challenge each other to try new things and despite inevitable health issues, to foster an attitude of curiosity and adventure. We challenge one another to find meaningful ways to give back to our community,” said Dan.

This spring Dan started the Retired Men’s Group: Refiring Your Life! co-sponsored by FiftyForward and Mental Health America Mid South.  The support group meets every Thursday, 1-2:30 p.m. at FiftyForward Knowles, 174 Rains Avenue, Nashville, 37203. Contact Dan at 615-476-6364 or email

Many thanks to Skydive Tennessee for its part in making this dream come true!

Hear more from on how this FiftyForward program helps retired men do bold things