“Her telling her story had a huge impact for the transgender community,” Mr. Levasseur said. “Because of violence against transgender people, many of us don’t get to grow old, but here she was, enjoying her life in her 90s.”
Ms. Asti’s greatest enjoyment came in the air. A licensed pilot and instructor since her 20s, she continued to fly every weekend well into her 90s, traveling from her home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to Teterboro Airport in northern New Jersey.
At the beginning of the pandemic she moved from New York, where she had lived most of her life, to San Diego, where her daughter lives. She took her last flight, with a student, in July, establishing a Guinness World Record as the world’s oldest active pilot and oldest flight instructor.
“What do I like about flying?” she said in “Flying Solo,” a 2018 documentary about her life. “I guess it’s being a bird.”
Robina Fedora Asti was born on April 7, 1921, in Manhattan and raised in Greenwich Village. Her father, David Astey, was a featherweight boxer who had Anglicized his surname after his manager said he needed to sound less Italian. Ms. Asti began using the original spelling after she transitioned. Her mother, Helen (Jund) Astey, was a homemaker.
Along with her daughter Coca, Ms. Asti is survived by another daughter, Eamonn Gunther; a son, Trevor Astey; and five grandchildren. Another son, Pepe, died in childhood.
Ms. Asti showed an interest in electrical devices from an early age. By the time she was a teenager, she had a steady business fixing radios around her Greenwich Village neighborhood.
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