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Roanoke veteran makes and donates hundreds of winter hats

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 4:14 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A rainbow of colors woven together, telling the story of commitment.

“They have an unconditional love,” says Donna Huff. “They have always been together. My dad has always taken care of my mom.”

Jimmie and Rachel Deel said “I do” nearly seven decades ago, but this last one has demonstrated the depths of their vows.

“He’s been taking care of her at home for about 10 years with the help of my brothers and sisters. All of us, we all work together,” Huff explained.

Taking care by her side, and starting a new hobby.

“It started when my mom’s dementia got a little harder for him,” Huff explained. “My mom used to make Afghans.”

“She had a lot of yarn left over,” noted retired veteran Jimmee Deel, Sr. “And that’s how it got started. I said, ‘what are we going to do with all that yarn?’ That’s when I started making the hats.”

The project became a way to warm the heart of his wife, and the heads of many in the community.

“I made those hats for those kids because they don’t have anything. Some of them don’t,” Deel said.

“He rides by and sees there’s a lot of children out on the playground without hats on,” added Huff.

“So I give them to the schools and they hand them out to the kids that need it,“ continued Deel.

Over the last four years, Deel has donated close to 500 hats to a handful of schools, the Roanoke Rescue Mission, and Carilion Cancer Center. For Deel, caring for his wife while pulling the strings on his loom is a win-win.

“It makes you feel good,” he says.

“They’ve been married 67 years in November,” noted Huff. “My goal is to have my parents’ relationship.”

A bond knitted together with the deepest form of love.

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