The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

April 5, 2013

Gift of a lifetime: Man receives quilt incorporating family photos

JOHNSTOWN — Karl Scott Jr. appreciates life because he has lived a lot of it.

At 97, not too many things get him worked up, but when he was given a special quilt Easter morning at Westmont Presbyterian Church, he was moved to tears.

Scott, a resident at Westmont Presbyterian Home in Upper Yoder Township for the past three years, received what amounted to a fabric of his life.

The large quilt contains more than 40 photographs focusing on Scott’s lifetime.

The quilt was made by members of the church’s chapter of Prayers and Squares, an international, interdenominational ministry, whose members sew pocket prayer quilts for those in need of solace.

Joyce Norris of Upper Yoder, an original member of the chapter, said the quilt was intended to bring comfort to Scott, who had a stroke three years ago and doesn’t get to church too often.

“We wanted to do the quilt for Karl to say that he is remembered, that we still care about him, pray for him and to let him know that he hasn’t been forgotten,” said Norris.

She stated that God moves in mysterious ways because the only thing she knew about Scott before tackling the quilt was that his favorite color was red.

After discussing the possibility of making a full-size quilt, another member of the group, Inez Salvia of Belmont, said she knew Karl from his days of operating a grocery store in Moxham.

Salvia knew that Karl loved daffodils and geraniums, which are included in the patch work.

Scott’s daughter, Linda Trautwine of Greensburg, was instrumental in providing family photos to incorporate in the quilt.

Photos show his store, baby pictures, high school photo, Army picture and one showing Scott as a toddler in an old car, most likely his parents’.

But the prized pictures on the quilt show Scott with his beloved 1967 Lincoln Continental, which gained a cult following after the car rose to fame in 1976, when it was used to carry Paul Newman and co-stars during the shooting of a parade scene in “Slap Shot.”

The quilt has more than 40 photos emblazoned on it.

“We use a special fabric that allows us to scan the photo and download it onto the cloth,” Norris said.

Norris and her husband, John, who calls Scott a pillar of the church, made arrangements to get Scott to the service Easter morning.

Joyce Norris said the Easter service was quite emotional for everyone involved.

Four quilts were displayed during the service, but Scott was the only one in attendance to receive one.

“The sanctuary was full, and we announced at the beginning of the service that we had a quilt for a special visitor who couldn’t be with his congregation each Sunday,” Norris said. “He was in tears and I was in tears.”

Scott is grateful to Joyce Norris, who comforted him throughout the service.

“She sat next to me and held my hand because it was very sentimental for me,” he said.

The highlight of the quilt for Scott is the four car photos, because the car brought Scott so much pleasure.

Scott is quick to give visitors to his room a guided tour of his life using the photos on the quilt.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said, clutching the quilt as he spoke from his wheelchair. “What wonderful work these women are doing with these quilts. Words can’t express how much this means to me. It’s a treasure that will be handed down to my family to keep forever.”

Scott also spoke proudly about his store that he operated at 608 Grove Ave. in Moxham.

“My store was the first grocery store in the United States to sell Russell Stover candy,” Scott said, pointing to the panel showing the storefront. “Prior to that, the company limited its sales to card shops, department stores and drugstores before allowing me to sell.”

The chapter, comprised of members of Westmont Presbyterian and other churches, continues making thousands of pocket quilts to inspire people.

They started making prayer squares in 2005 for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The chapter sends its quilted items to Memorial Medical Center, Conemaugh Cancer Care Center and John P. Murtha Regional Cancer Center in Johnstown and to Windber Medical Center and Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center in Windber, to name a few.

“Since 2005, we have made tens of thousands of pocket quilts,” Norris said. “We sent 900 pocket quilts to victims of Hurricane Sandy, and we are about to send a box of nearly 800 to those involved in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown (Conn.).”

If Scott is any measure of appreciation, the quilts are a profound ministry.

“I see my quilt as a way to generate prayers and view it as my legacy. God bless them for making it,” he said.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • District Deaths July 31, 2014

    July 30, 2014

  • Smaller payout to seniors urged

    State Lottery officials say less means more for seniors.

    July 29, 2014

  • Portage ambulance aid will add portable CPR device, other tools

    Federal funding awarded to Portage Area Ambulance Association will soon put “a third man” alongside their two-person crews when emergencies occur, ambulance operations manager Edward Nelson said.

    July 29, 2014

  • paint_twp building Paint Township considers offering part of building for rent

    Four years after Paint Township built an addition at the Basin Drive building to house its growing police department, much of the new space likely will be offered for rent this fall because the township supervisors say it's no longer needed.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Old Rockwood hotel will soon be history

    The historic – but dilapidated – Merchants Hotel in Rockwood is expected to be razed soon.
    On Tuesday, Somerset County’s three commissioners unanimously agreed to a demolition plan for the building, which was constructed in the 1880s. The arrangement calls for a private citizen, William Nair, to tear down the structure at 703 Main St. in exchange for being allowed to keep any salvageable materials.

    July 29, 2014

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 30, 2014

  • ATV blast ready to roll at Rock Run

    Organizers are keeping the spirit of the Fisher’s ATV Reunion at Rock Run Recreation Area alive despite losing the support of the award-winning Outdoor Channel TV show “Fisher’s ATV World.” Now called the Rock Run ATV Summer Blast, the event will continue to offer demonstration rides, motor competitions, product vendors, live music, camping and trail riding.

    July 29, 2014

  • Culvert 1 Preservationists use age-old method at historic site

    Preservation work on two historic culverts associated with the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site has been completed. The culverts were reconstructed using a variety of techniques, including dry stone masonry, which was used to build the culverts more than 180 years ago.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local briefs 7/30/2014

    July 29, 2014

  • Officer, civilian motorist injured in crash

    A Johnstown police officer who was responding to an emergency and one other driver were taken to the hospital after they were injured in a three-vehicle accident around 5:40 p.m. Tuesday on Railroad Street at the intersection with Clinton Street and Church Avenue.
    The Johnstown Fire Department said that the three occupants of the third vehicle were not injured.

    July 29, 2014


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads