A popular 80-year-old crossing guard at Cedarburg's Thorson Elementary is retiring from his job Wednesday. His retirement prompted a special surprise from students, parents and staff -- the day before he leaves his job.
It started out as a routine morning for Vic Vey, the 80-year-old crossing guard at Cedarburg's Thorson Elementary.
At 8:15 a.m. Tuesday he could be seen at his post, outside of the school, helping students cross the street. It's a position he's filled on weekdays, rain or shine, for almost a decade.
"Have a nice day now," he said to a student passing through the crosswalk he monitors.
The job pays $12/hour, with Vey typically working one hour in the mornings and one in the evening. But he said he shows up because he loves kids. He gets to see many of them grow up.
"I see these kids that I had as kindergartners, now they drive by in a car," Vey said. "I still smile every day they go by. I can't help it."
But this week is also Vey's last at his usual post. He's retiring because of his age. He gave Thorson Elementary notice that he'd be stepping down a couple of months ago.
"I'm just getting old, that's all," Vey said. "I can feel my awareness. You've got to be on the ball here, because kids come flying by you, and they will run across the road."
Students, parents, and staff planned a special surprise for Vey before his last day on duty.
With custom signs in hand, students walked Vey from his crosswalk into the building for a special assembly.
The Mayor of Cedarburg even proclaimed it "Vic Vey Day."
"Thank you all, I'm so overwhelmed," Vey said. "To me, I'm just a crossing guard."
Parents said the proper sendoff was the least Vey deserved.
"What's important is that he gives a little bit extra, he always gives the kids a high five or a hug," said parent Mary-Kay Bourbulas. "He learns their names."
"He's super special. If he knows a kid is going through a rough time, he'll show up with movie theater tickets," she added.
Vey doesn't have any grand plans for retirement, but said he hopes to keep in touch with many of the kids he's met.
This is his second retirement. He started work as a crossing guard after a 40-year career as a welder.