"I wanted to do something with my hands and I didn't care what it was. In fact when I came here the first time I was stuffing dolls. It takes a lot of cotton stuffing the dolls that they give away," said Shellist.
Shellist spent six months chipping out 217 words that make up the Gettysburg Address, one of history's most memorable speeches. The 8-foot tall panel is on display at the Glenview Senior Center's lobby.
"I love it more and more each day… because I'm getting such wonderful remarks, people that stop me and don't hardly believe that I did it. You have no idea how this extends my life, I think," said Shellist.
Joyce Pottinger has served as the center's supervisor for 50 years. She is impressed with the display of Lincoln's words on wood.
"It's mammoth. It's really overwhelming. Our people here do so many overwhelming things I sometimes take them for granted you never take Manny for granted," said Pottinger.
Shellist has been carving for about four years.
"I thank God for giving me the ability and the knowledge to do what I doing. I don't take any credit for it," said Shellist.