87-Year-Old School Crossing Guard Spent 50 Years on Job, Has No Intention of Slowing Down

March 29, 2019 Updated: April 3, 2019

One needs a lot of dedication in order to work in the same job for decades. Most importantly, the work must be enjoyable to stay in the job for such a long time, and that is how one elderly woman worked as a school crossing guard for 50 years.

Naomi Thomas, of Louisville, Kentucky, never thought about working outside the home, but when a job opening for a school crossing guard on Smyrna and Outer Loop became available in 1968, she decided to take it after much persuasion.

In a blink of an eye, five decades have passed, and Thomas is still working at the same job wearing a vest and holding a stop sign to guard school children of Okolona Elementary. She has no intention of slowing down either.

“It just worked into our schedule just perfect, and here I am,” the 87-year-old told WHAS11. “It’s my therapy. I will say that. It gets me up and gets me going.”

For the past 50 years, the mom of two has seen many things in life and helped many school kids.

“Tied a lot of shoes, zipped up coats, wiped the tears, listened to their stories, give them a hug, give them lunch money,” she said.

And she doesn’t mind doing anything of it. “People, I like people,” she explained.


It's not her birthday, but this definitely marks a major milestone for Naomi Thomas. She started her job as a crossing guard 50 years ago today! You'll see her celebration surprise at 4:30! Louisville Metro Police Department @Jefferson County Public Schools Smyrna Elementary Moore Traditional High School

Posted by WHAS11 News on Tuesday, September 18, 2018

On Sept. 18, 2018, Thomas’s boss, friends, and co-workers decided to honor her with a surprise by showing up with 50 roses and balloons. Thomas was delightfully surprised and overjoyed by the gesture.

“Miss Thomas has graced this community with 50 years of service,” said Steve Conrad, chief of Louisville Metro Police Department, at the celebration, WDRB reported.

Others shared stories about Thomas and her dedication to the job.

What’s Thomas’s secret to success? She believes in making the most of what you have and enjoying life as it is.

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going. That’s my theory. I have worked when I didn’t feel like it. Pick something that you enjoy and make it enjoyable. Have some fun with it as you go through life,” she said.

That’s right! In the current society, there are many out there who are working just to make ends meet. While this is important, one should find satisfaction in the work that one does by creating enjoyment in it yourself.


You may also want to watch this video

Thank you for your service, welcome home Sir!