Beloved Crossing Guard Surprised On His Birthday - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/12/07-Tyler

Beloved Crossing Guard Surprised On His Birthday

For almost three years now, he's been the bright shining face many East Texas students look forward to seeing first thing in the morning.  But Wednesday, dozens of Rice Elementary students from Tyler surprised their now-84 year old crossing guard, Theodore Royce. They say he's more than a Crossing Guard, he's a friend.

Every day, rain or shine, Theodore Royce or "Mr. Royce" as he's called, not only makes sure students cross the street safely, he greets them with a smile or a wave and always a 'hello.'

But now it's Mr. Royce's day to be greeted.  On his 84th birthday, students, teachers, his wife, daughter, and even his preacher surprised him with a gift basket. But it was keeping the whole ordeal a secret that really touched Mr. Royce.

"This is one of the best surprises I've had in my life, I didn't have any idea that this was going to happen," he says.

He's been through a lot, including recently losing a daughter, but Mr. Royce says he keeps on smiling everyday for the children.

"He has a genuine heart for serving others and that's rare, he truly cares about the children and their safety," says Rice Elementary Principal Vicki Neill.

And Mr. Royce says he plans on doing it for the kids as long as he can walk and talk.

"I think you just don't have to know someone to do a good deed towards them, it will come back to you someday," he says.

And Wednesday certainly proved to be that "someday" for Mr. Royce.

Mr. Royce lives in Tyler with his wife. His son and daughter, along with handfuls of grandchildren, also live in Tyler.

Tracy Walter, Reporting tracy@kltv.com

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