Judy Trost was born to knit—literally. Her mother went into labor with Judy while knitting!
Judy remembers sitting at her mother’s feet and asking when she could learn to knit. Of course her mom said she could start right away. She was just 8 years old, but Judy made a camel-colored sweater with set-in shoulders and buttons. Since then, she’s never stopped knitting and crocheting.
Long before she arrived at Beatrice Place in July of 2014, Judy always did needlework in her spare time. She served as the secretary for the chief of detectives with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office for 23 years, during some very stressful times for the department. “I would come home after a tense day, and knit for just half an hour and feel very relaxed,” she says. “It’s very therapeutic.”
These days, she teaches knitting three days a week at different locations around her Greece neighborhood, and says she feels blessed to share her skills with others. “My motto is, ‘Each one, teach one,’ so that the love of needlework never dies.” Judy also crochets blankets, most recently a red, white and blue blanket to honor a neighbor who lives down the street from Beatrice Place. Judy was driving by in her pale yellow PT Cruiser, “Buttercup,” when she saw him raising his U.S. flag in front of his house. It touched her heart—Judy’s dad, who passed away in 1970, would raise a flag in front of their house every morning.
After arriving at Beatrice Place, Judy started a knitting group to share the hobby she loves. It meets every Wednesday afternoon, upstairs in the large living room, complete with comfy chairs and a pool table. “Everyone comes with their own project,” she says. Judy and her group first started making blankets for the Batavia Veterans Administration. Then Judy began making blankets for new Beatrice Place residents. Now fellow resident Ellie Thornton creates a blanket for each new resident as a housewarming gift, and another resident in the group, Shirley Lowe, makes eight or nine baby hats every week. In 2017 alone, Judy’s three knitting groups donated 503 bonnets for newborns at Highland Hospital!
Beatrice Place felt welcoming from the start. “It’s so friendly here, and I feel safe. I lived in my house in Rochester for 33 years before moving here. I drove around Greece to see what I could find that was easily accessible and had good parking for Buttercup,” says Judy. “I kept hearing that Our Lady of Mercy was being converted into senior apartments. As soon as I visited [what is now Beatrice Place], I just felt comfortable.” She says she loves to watch the sunsets from her one-bedroom apartment on the second floor.
Judy has served as the proud president of the Resident Council at Beatrice Place, a post that allowed her to meet and listen to her fellow residents’ needs and desires at monthly meetings, and work with staff to help organize special events. “I love where I live and introducing myself to new people,” she says. She’s rotated off the council as president, but Judy will stay busy. She’s heading up the Reunion Committee for Irondequoit High School’s Class of ‘ 59—and of course, she’ll keep knitting, crocheting and teaching to share her comforting skills.