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Carlisle man proves you're never too old to help others

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CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) -

At Chapel Pointe Retirement Center in Carlisle, 97-year-old Joe Dopsovik is known for his quick smile and his quilts.

"I sew approximately four to five hours a day," Dopsovik said. "Once you get in the mood, get in the swing, [you] keep going."

For more than a decade, the Lehigh County native has been turning out these colorful creations for area nursing homes and as fundraising items for churches and charities. His most recent project is lap robes. He gives them to fellow residents transferring to a new location.

For Dopsovik, quilting is quite the art.

"I try to avoid having the same colors side by side. This is alright, a combination like that," he said holding up one of his quilts and pointing to a portion of squares. " But you try to change them. You don't want two quilts to look the same."

And Dopsovik says he learned early on that, in this kind of work, haste makes waste.

"Never set a time limit. Once you set a time limit, that's when things go ... out of whack," Dopsovik said, finishing with a squishing sound and smile.

Although Dopsovik has been quilting for just over a decade, he's no stranger to needle and thread. For 45 years, Dopsovik oversaw the manufacturing of women's sports wear. At first for someone else company, and then for his own, until his retirement in 1980.

During World War II, women's sports wear was set aside so his company could supply the U.S. Army with field jackets. And, for his daughter's wedding in 1970, Dopsovik made all the bride's maids dresses.

His co-pilot through all this was his late wife, Theresa, his bride for 70 years. She loved that he continued to use his sewing talents to help others. And, Dopsovik remembers that love with every stitch.

" I feel very good," he said. "I feel proud. I'm hoping that it makes someone happy."

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