Crossing guard of nearly 50 years may retire next year

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago crossing guard, Roxie Calhoun, is described as an icon in the North Center neighborhood and she may be thinking about retirement.

Twice a day she drives from her South Shore home to her post on the North Side to help children get to and from school safely. And she's does it every day with a smile and even a few hugs along the way.

Calhoun has stood at Leavitt and Irving Park for nearly four decades.

"She's always here every day always smiling and just makes everybody's life better," Meggan Flom, a parent, said.

While Calhoun has spent the last 39 years at Leavitt and Irving Park, she actually started as a crossing guard nearly 50 years ago in another neighborhood, and it was a rocky start early on.

"I was quitting every day," she said. "It wasn't what I thought it was going to be. It was cold, raining, it was in March. I thought, 'It wasn't for me.'"

But she stuck with it and does not have one regret.

"I wanted to do my job right and take care of them," she said.

"It seems pretty impressive that she's been able to do that for long and even longer than I've lived too," Gunnar, a sixth grader said.

"She is a very good crossing guard and I really like her," Abigail Radich, a first grader, said.

"She's a very special part of our neighborhood and everyone is very excited and happy that she is a part and will be sad when she leaves," Sophie Keenan, a six grader, said.

As this school year draws to a close, Calhoun said retirement could come next year.

"We're all going to try to encourage her not to," Tiny McLaughlin, a parent, said.

"They're trying to talk me out of it, I don't think, but right now, my mind is made up, half way anyway," Calhoun said.

So it seems Calhoun could be talked out of it. If she does retire next year, she said she plans to travel a little perhaps visit her daughter in New Orleans.

By the way Calhoun said she didn't miss a single day this year and it's probably safe to assume she's missed very few days on the job over the last 50.
Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.