'I am going to miss this job': Community says goodbye to beloved crossing guard

self photo crossing guard.jpg

MADISON, Wis. - Kearn Blocker is the crossing guard everyone near Pflaum Road knows. Neighbors recognize him as the one who "waves his hand all the time to every car that comes along, and they wave back and honk."

One neighbor said: "He treats people the way he wants to be treated. He has a lot of dignity and class."

Blocker has stood at the corner of Pflaum Road and Maher Avenue every school day for the past seven years, rain, snow, sleet or shine.

"I'm going to miss this place, without a doubt. I am going to miss this job," Blocker said.

Blocker is a retired teacher who was looking for something to do during his retirement. He said he saw an ad in the newspaper looking for a crossing guard and decided to apply. He said it's been a joyful seven years.

But time has caught up with Blocker's health. His knees, heart and hip have pushed his decision to wave his final goodbye.

"It wasn't a hard decision," Blocker said. "When it comes down to your health, I had no choice."

Blocker wanted to be a crossing guard for at least 10 years, but his health told him he couldn't make it past seven.

"One thing I will not miss is rising up every morning at 4:30," he said. "I will not miss that."

During Blocker's last day on the job, dozens came to his curbside that he watches over to give him hugs, cookies and other farewell gifts.

Blocker's wife, Stella Blocker, said she feels so fortunate to be able to know him.

"It's so gratifying to know that I have been blessed all these years to have such a wonderful husband," Stella Blocker said.

Stella and Kearn Blocker have been married for more than 53 years. Stella Blocker said she is sad to see him step away from a job he cares about so much but is happy to have him home.

Kearn Blocker said as he is quitting one passion of his, he will continue to pursue his other passion he's been doing for years on the side: art.

"You can't ask for anything better than that," Blocker said.