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July 22, 2018 - 12:59pm

Quilting helps keep two seniors busy into their 90s

posted by Virginia Kropf in Senior Quilters, batavia, news, senior center.

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Keeping busy is one reason two seniors believe they are enjoying life into their 90s.

Madeline Harding, of Batavia, turned 90 on June 15, while Mary Tuttle, also of Batavia, was 94 on July 18. Harding was born in Yorkshire and graduated from Wyoming County Academy, where she studied Nursing. She became a nursing supervisor at the former St. Jerome Hospital, then retired from the Genesee County Nursing Home.

She and her husband, Frank, 93, have four children, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. They enjoyed traveling all over the world, but aren’t able to do it anymore. England was her favorite destination, Harding said. They have been there several times.

Harding said she joined the Senior Quilters because she has always liked to do crafts and her mother was a quilter.

She still drives, “but very carefully,” she said.

Tuttle was born in Blossburg, Pa., and met her husband when her father moved to Perry for work.

She learned to quilt after they retired to Florida, where they lived for 21 years until moving back to Batavia for his health.

Tuttle has always loved to sing and said she would sing “Anywhere they let me.” She starred in her first operetta at age 5 at PerryHigh School, playing the part of Baby Bear.

“You gotta’ stay happy,” she said.

She and her husband had two children, five grandchildren, and 11 grandchildren.

When decided where they wanted to celebrate their birthdays, Harding and Tuttle chose Fortune’s at Batavia Downs, because it was a favorite spot of their friend and former quilter, Frances Ford. Ford, who would have been 102 a week ago, died in May.

The Senior Quilters have made more than 15 quilts for Quilts of Valor. They donate quilts to the VA Nursing Home, Migrant Day Care Center, Cancer Treatment Center, Social Services and the surgical center at Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester.

Their newest quilt raffle will be in September. They are selling tickets for $1 each or three for $2.

New quilters are welcome to join the group from 9 a.m. to noon every Wednesday.

Top photo: The Senior Quilters, who meet Wednesdays at the Genesee County Office for the Aging, celebrated the birthdays of two of their members, Madeline Harding and Mary Tuttle (both seated) this week. Holding a quilt they will raffle off in September are, from left, Cheryl Bauer, Marge Coniber, Linda Nalbach, Donna Tomski, Harding, Tuttle and Irene Pierce.

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Two seniors chose to celebrate their special birthdays' quilting at the Senior Center on Bank Street, before going to lunch at Fortune’s in Batavia Downs. Madeline Harding, left, turned 90 on June 15 and Mary Tuttle was 94 on July 18.

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