98-year-old bringing cheer to Eastchester community with jokes

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EASTCHESTER -

A Westchester man is bringing cheer to the community by spreading jokes to those who are feeling down and out.

Every Sunday, Peter DeFelice goes to the Trader Joe's in Eastchester to pick up his groceries and drop off a few laughs to his fellow customers. The 98-year-old photocopies jokes from magazines and newspapers to hand out to whoever will take them.

"They call me, 'Here comes the joke man,'" he says. "It just came on me, I don't know, I felt it's something people needed to brighten their day up."

DeFelice says he first started handing out jokes in 2011 and recently lost his wife of 68 years.

"I stopped for a while because I was mourning – I'm still mourning," he says. "But I felt it was something I started to make people happy, and she would encourage me to continue on."

Patricia O'Connell, DeFelice's daughter, says her dad enjoys making people happy and feels the jokes do that.

"He wants to keep busy, he loved his work, he loved being busy with work and he wants to do something constructive," she says.

DeFelice leaves his address on the jokes he hands out and says he has received some thank you letters from community members.

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