An entire century of stories to tell!
A North Carolina crossing guard who has been serving students for over 30 years recently celebrated his 100th birthday, WUNC 91.5 reports. Thomas Faucette is a World War II veteran who was born September 29, 1921. In the 1980s, he retired from the U.S. Postal Service and took up a second career as a crossing guard for Guilford County Schools in 1986. Faucette says it was his wife’s idea. She was a teacher, which meant they could spend time together.
“I like it, I like it. Instead of staying home looking at the TV, I can come to her school…[as a] crossing guard. I enjoy it,” Faucette said.
Elizabeth and Thomas Faucette. Photo Courtesy of Denise Allen/WUNC
These days, you can find him at Peck Elementary School serving as a crossing guard, a more culturally diverse school than the segregated one Faucette said he attended in the 1930s.
“He has more things to do than we have to do. Even when it comes down to vacation, he wants to hurry up and come back so he can do the crossguard. He does not want to take off work. It keeps him busy,” Faucette’s son, Thomas Faucette Jr., said.
Thomas Faucette & Sons. Photo Courtesy of Denise Allen/WUNC
The centenarian’s supervisor echoed those sentiments, telling reporters that the only time Faucette misses his shift is when he has a doctor’s appointment.
The Greensboro, North Carolina resident celebrated his 100th birthday at a backyard party thrown by his wife, Elizabeth Faucette.
“We’ve been married 51 years, and [are] celebrating his 100th birthday. And it’s a pleasure and an honor that he is still with us. A blessing,” Elizabeth said.
Faucette was giddy at his celebration, moving around with ease, greeting guests and flashing a huge smile. He stood out of course, donning a baseball cap his wife gifted him with “100 never looked so good,” written in bold letters, along with a black t-shirt given to him by a friend that read “It took me 100 years to look this good.”
The Faucette Family. Photo Courtesy of Denise Allen/WUNC
Faucette’s daughter, Thomasina Faucette-Hayes, says her Dad has no intention of slowing down anytime soon. He was one of the first in the family to get the COVID-19 vaccine and wears his mask daily so he can stay safe and go to work. She said that for someone who’s lived 100 years, he’s in pretty good shape.
“We used to call him ‘The Bionic Man’ because of his knee replacements, cataracts, and he had something done with his spine. We used to call him ‘The Bionic Man’ because he has been re-built,” she said.
The school he works at also decided to honor him. On September 29, 100 of the children from Peck Elementary held large two-dimensional “candles” made from brightly-colored construction paper and waited for Faucette to walk from his corner to the front of the school.
They surprised him with music, a banner, balloons, $100, and a giant card that everyone signed. He also received a plaque from Greensboro Police Chief Brian James in appreciation for his service with the department.
“I was so happy,” second grader Erick Foote said, “because it’s his birthday.”
Faucette joins a cadre of senior citizens taking up the crossing guard profession in their post-retirement lives, including Alec Childress of Wilmette, Illinois, and 94-year-old South Carolina crossing guard, Estella Williams. A special thanks to you all. Because of you, we can!
Happy Belated Birthday, Mr. Faucette! Cheers to 100 and beyond!
Photo Courtesy of Denise Allen/WUNC