SURROUNDED BY MEMORIES: Peggy Ferguson, Sally Byrne, Sue Schnitzerling, Cathy Schnitzerling, Nicole Johnson and Jane Will were proud to display their crocheted blankets made by their late aunt Betty Sommerville.
SURROUNDED BY MEMORIES: Peggy Ferguson, Sally Byrne, Sue Schnitzerling, Cathy Schnitzerling, Nicole Johnson and Jane Will were proud to display their crocheted blankets made by their late aunt Betty Sommerville. Bianca Hrovat

Crocheted treasures comfort family during final goodbye

SURROUNDED by the comfort of his mother's hand-crocheted, colourful blankets, David Sommerville took to the pulpit of St Mark's Church to say one final, heartfelt goodbye to Warwick woman Betty Sommerville.

Each blanket was a symbol of Betty's love for her family, crocheted like clockwork on the eve of every 21st birthday and treasured forever more.

Now, each winter when niece Cathy Schnitzerling places her blanket on the end of her bed, she will remember the inspirational woman who gave everything to her family.

"Betty made me the pink one up the front and I really love the bolder colours,” Cathy said.

"It's so lovely that so many of us were able to bring those rugs today as a tribute to her.

"That's a real tangible memory we get to keep from her and they are just works of art.”

Betty featured in the Daily News last year after she completed her 168th crocheted blanket and said the hobby kept her busy and active.

Her husband, William Sommerville, would proudly show off his wife's work to visitors before he passed away.

It was a hobby she shared with her younger sister Sue Schnitzerling. They would exchange tips and tricks as they worked on projects together.

Sue said Betty was a great joke-teller, and the matriarch would often have her family in stitches.

"She was such a happy person and always enjoyed life,” Sue said.

"I'm glad she passed in peace.”

Betty continued to crochet in bed in the hospital, determined to finish a final baby shawl before she passed.

It was a testament to Betty's unending generosity.

"She always had a gift and she always had a laugh,” Cathy said.

"Even though we lived in different towns she helped us to stay such a close family.”



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