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92-year-old crochets blankets as gifts of love for hospice patients

At 92, Marilyn Bancroft doesn't remember when she picked up the hobby but loves crocheting for those who need a heart-warming gift.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Marilyn Bancroft has always been artistic and creative, but she wasn't always interested in crochet.

“She says she can’t teach but you sure can learn a lot from her,” said Martha Grafton. “They say I can’t even hold the needles!”

The skill takes time and patience. Bancroft just enjoys the process. At 92, she doesn’t remember when she picked up the hobby but loves creative crochet creations to give away to people who need a heart-warming gift.

“She’s a giver. She loves to give,” said Suncoast PACE recreational therapist Bethany Letourneau. “She’s got a great sense of humor. She’s just very giving and fun to be around.”

Marilyn crochets blankets for Hospice patients in Pinellas County. Often, those blankets end up with babies who have died or will soon leave this world behind. She hopes her blankets comfort the families of the sick and dying children.

“All they’ve got to do is bury them and they’re not even formed yet,” she said. “It’s very sad with the babies. Yet, somebody has to do it.”

Marilyn knows what it’s like to lose a child. She lost her daughter 14 years ago after a terrible illness. Her husband died on her 51st birthday.

She just wants to spend her days trying to cheer up others who also know how heartache feels.

“She’s a wonderful person,” said Grafton with a smile.

Suncoast PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) is a member of Empath Health, a nonprofit integrated network of care supporting those challenged by chronic and advanced illness in the Tampa Bay region, according to its website.

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