LE ROY – Marion Kohl’s pastime is not what makes her unique, but the fact she will turn 99 in May and is still able to knit and crochet.
“She is amazing at her age to be able to continue to contribute with her talent,” said Kim Pasquale, director of The Greens.
Kohl inherited her talent from her mother and grandmother. She started crocheting as a youngster and learned to knit when her husband Harold was in the military.
She was born in Syracuse grew up in the Catskills. Harold grew up in Henderson Harbor, where her grandparents lived. Her father’s job transferred him to Lowville, and she met Harold in her senior year. They corresponded for seven years while he was in the Service. He served in World War II and the Korean War.
In addition to raising their two children, Kohl was a nurse. The couple moved to the Rochester area in 1965. She came to The Greens in August 2008, after Harold had to enter the nursing home. He died in 2009.
“Marion has made many mittens for people here, as well as baby blankets for residents’ grandchildren,” Pasquale said.
When she heard about the red hats needed for preemies, she got the pattern and some donated yarn and made 10 hats for the Little Hats, Big Hearts program in connection with the Children’s Heart Foundation. She can’t count the sweaters she has made, and she crocheted an afghan for veterans and made baby blankets for the Le Roy Nursery. She also donates her needlework to the Le Roy Rotary’s Graze to Raise auction.
“I knit or crochet every day,” Kohl said. “It’s part of my routine while I’m watching TV.”
Before Harold died, he would read the patterns to her.
Kohl likes to do jigsaw puzzles, and has a computer, but she doesn’t go on the Internet. She just enjoys playing games on it.
She also walks around the facility for exercise and fixes her own lunch in her apartment. She admits to having an occasional drink, but never smoked.
“I’m so grateful my hands and my eyes still let me do the things I love,” Kohl said.