Luther Walker, a 94-year-old crossing guard at Mitchell Elementary School in Dallas, is beloved by many in his community.
“He is an institution,” Principal Bob Farris told ABC News. “He’s a bright light in everybody’s day.”
Walker, a proud World War II veteran, has had a long and plentiful life.
He worked for years in a bakery, then moved on to the YMCA, but he said being a crossing guard has, by far, been the most fulfilling.
“The kids are wonderful,” Walker told ABC News. “Ever since I’ve been here, I’ve never had [any] problem with the kids. I got attached to the children and they got attached to me. I enjoy working with them.”
Walker has been a crossing guard at the school for 20 years, reliably greeting the students every day.
“They all like to be around me,” he said with a laugh.
So when he didn’t show up for work one day last week, everyone was worried.
“The whole community was so concerned about him,” said Farris.
“People were really, genuinely upset,” Kelli Jones, the parent of a 4th grader at the school, recalled. “The kids kept asking questions about where he was and were very upset.”
While out on a drive, Walker had gotten dehydrated and lost his way.
“I was just turned around,” said Walker. “I don’t know what happened. It seemed like a dream to me.”
He is feeling better now, and to show their appreciation, families from the school surprised him for his birthday.
They showered him with gift cards, artwork from the students and even paid his rent.
“It was wonderful,” said an overwhelmed Walker. “It was really so nice.”
“I’ve enjoyed this birthday better than any birthday I’ve ever had,” he added….