As of Thursday, students in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District are officially on Winter Break.
But for the kids at Bedford Heights Elementary, Thursday also marks the end of an era. Their beloved crossing guard ‘Mr. Billy’ is crossing over into retirement.
“I love my kids. I really do,” said Billy Lynch, who has worked the corner of Cummings Drive at McLain Road for the past 15 years. “And I am going to miss them so much when I’m not on the corner.”
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After a long career with the railroad, Mr. Billy started his ‘second career’ in 2003 when a friend with the Bedford Police Department told him they were in need of competent crossing guards.
Lynch had planned to continue his work as a crossing guard through the remainder of this school year, but he has been particularly bothered recently by lingering pain in his ankle — the result of a compound fracture in 2016 and three subsequent surgeries.
Shouts of “Mr. Billy” could be heard coming from passing cars and people – both young and old – on Wednesday, with longtime familiar faces taking the time to say goodbye.
“I hope I am someone they look up to,” Lynch said when asked what he hopes people remember best about his years of service. “I have kids that come back from when they were little kids. I had one little girl come back and say, ‘Do you remember me?’ And I said, ‘No.’ And she said, ‘Well, you used to walk me and now I am in medical school in Dallas.’ So wow, that makes me feel good.”