Greenville women make over 800 homemade hats


GREENVILLE — Four Greenville women have made 800 hats in the last 18 months.

Mildred Turner, 92 years young, is the senior member of the group and said most of the hats are at her house before they are dispersed. Her co-horts in this project are Alice Hart, Pauline Rench and Mary Riffell.

“I’m hat central right now,” said Turner. “Everything is here.”

Turner, who said they get together once a week to make the hats, said it was Hart who planted the idea in their heads.

“We’re all widows,” said Turner. “Our small group has been meeting for quite awhile for Bible study and prayer time, and then a year and a half ago, we decided to do a little more. Alice started making these hats and, when we’d go to her house, we would see them. We thought, ‘How nice.’”

So that’s what they decided to do…make hats for everyone.

“All you need is a loom, regular yarn and a tool to flip the stitch over,” Turner explained. “If it weren’t for the ring [loom], I couldn’t do it by hand.”

Last year, the quartet made hats for Grace Resurrection Community Center, while some went to the battered women’s group, others to the homeless shelter in Darke County and 150 to the Pleasant View Missionary Church for its Shoe Box Ministry.

“We make four sizes,” she said. “We don’t do the smaller sizes…just medium and large.

Three of the women — Hart, Riffell and Turner — are members of the Pleasant View Church while Rench attends the Wesleyan Church.

Turner, the former Mildred Good, was widowed when husband Glenn Sr. died in 1978. She was a stay-at-home mother with six children, Glenn Jr., Ronnie, Joe, John, Sue Ann [now Esser] and Bill. Now, there are also numerous, grand-, great-grand- and great-great-grandchildren.

She is usually the one who delivers the hats to their destinations.

“The others offer, but I take care of it,” Turner said. “I have met interesting people along the way.”

She said some of the hats she has made have gone to Kentucky, Alabama, South Dakota and Washington State.

According to her, it takes four to five hours to make a hat if it is done at one time.

“For the fancier ones, it takes a little longer,” she said.

By Linda Moody

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Linda Moody may be reached at 937-569-4315. Follow her on Facebook and join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to

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