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Jewett finds fulfillment at senior center

Staff writer

Finding a purpose for living is important as people grow older.

For Evelyn (Corey) Jewett, 84, of Marion, the answer lay in her involvement in Marion Senior Center.

Evelyn and her late husband, Burt, both were raised in the Youngtown community. She was a retail clerk in a store in McPherson for many years. The couple moved to Marion about 20 years ago.

Their daughter, Judy Paoli, was working at the senior center as a cook and encouraged her parents to become involved.

They did, and now Jewett is in charge of the quilting detail and craft corner. She has become a businesswoman of sorts.

“I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have this,” she said. “It is my life. I’m down here every morning since my family is gone.”

She lost her husband eight years ago and her daughter earlier, and has another daughter in Atlanta, Ga.

Evelyn grew up in a quilting family. She began quilting in her spare time in her 30s, using large hoops.

For years, she made and sold baby quilts.

“I sold hundreds of them,” she said. “Some went overseas to places like England, Germany, and Japan.”

At the senior center, she learned how to put a quilt in a frame and keep it tight. Helen Turner and Geneva Widler worked with her.

The quilters at the center make quilts for other people who bring all the necessary materials. Jewett oversees putting the quilts together in the frame. She said it is satisfying to see the work progress and to see the pleasure in the owners’ eyes when they come to pick up the finished products.

Jewett enjoys teaching others how to quilt.

“Quilting occupies your time and your mind,” Jewett said. “You have a lot of time to think.”

She said it takes an average of six weeks to complete a quilt. The charge for the service is based on the size of the quilt and the amount of stitching required.

Jewett also arranges displays of smaller craft items for sale, such as tea-towels, pillows, receiving blankets, and baby quilts.

The money raised from making quilts and selling other craft items is kept in a separate bank account and is used to buy needed equipment for the senior center.

Jewett has found a way to be useful and to stay connected with others. She feels it makes her life worthwhile.

Last modified Aug. 26, 2010

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