Kala Chakov Beitchman found happiness in helping others. For more than a decade, she crocheted hundreds of blankets then donated them to members of the community.
The daughter of Russian immigrants, Beitchman first learned to crochet as a child. She maintained her weaving skills throughout her life, often working on three blankets at a time.
When Beitchman moved from her native Philadelphia to Miami Beach in the mid-1980s, she joined the Merry Mummers, a musical group that performs in area nursing homes. Beitchman was playing the tambourine when she spotted an elderly woman sitting in a wheelchair, huddling inside a tablecloth to keep warm.
That day, Beitchman decided to donate her elegantly crocheted blankets to people who needed them. Patients at the VA Hospital, residents of local rest homes and visitors to Camillus House, a shelter for the homeless and indigent, all benefited from her charity.
Beitchman died on May 24 of heart failure. She was 92.