Art of Aging: Rydal Park Retirement Community

Thursday, August 03, 2017 01:31PM
Art of Aging: Rydal Park Retirement Community - Tamala Edwards reports during Action News at noon on August 3, 2017.


JENKINTOWN, Pa. - A local man whose high school hobby of taking things apart and putting them back together again has turned into a lifelong love of helping others.

Bill Schwarzschild ran a textile business for 50 years, but, as a skilled carpenter and general handyman, he also made furniture for his home and fixed odds and ends for his neighbors.

"This is one of the first projects I built ages ago, and each one of these inlays is a separate piece," he said.

Two years ago, Bill and his wife Carol moved to Rydal Park, a Presby's Inspired Life Community in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.

It wasn't long before Bill discovered the workshop where residents bring everything from clocks to tables and chairs for repair.

"I've just always been handy with my hands. I enjoy helping other people. I've always been involved in the community no matter where I lived. I think it's a big help to the residents, I would hope," said Bill.

"Normally, you would think of throwing it out. Here, we can have it fixed and continue to enjoy it," said resident, Florinda Doelp.

The list of items brought in for repair is long, but Bill and another volunteer can fix pretty much anything that needs fixing.

And Bill has another talent that enhances Rydal Park. The 80-year-old's photographs are proudly displayed in the halls.

"Bill is the best go-to guy. You can go to him for your fixes in the A to Z Shop, you can go to him for your photography needs. I find it incredibly inspirational," said Sarah Jolles, Executive Director of Sales and Marketing at Rydal Park.

Bill was unsure about leaving his family home two years ago, but his newfound purpose at Rydal Park has made the transition easier for both him and his wife.

"I think the right place, with the right people and being able to find that and make it happen changes the whole course of your life," he said.

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