Huntsville School Bus Driver Retires After 63 Years

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HUNTSVILLE (KFSM) --  Frank Fitch is retiring after 63 years of driving the same school bus route in Huntsville.  He started driving with the Huntsville School District as a favor for a couple of months, but ended up falling in love with the students.

"Seeing the students grow up and become good citizens is the main thing that I've enjoyed," said Fitch. He said driving his bus became a tradition for generations of families in the area, including his own.

Fitch's children and grandchildren remember riding his bus like it was yesterday.  "It was my chore to get the ice off the windshield," said his son Nevada Fitch, "I remember that."

His granddaughter, Maggie James said he was fair even though they were family. "We didn't get any special treatment in fact he had us call him Frank instead of Grandpa, James said.

Most of the students knew Fitch for going the extra mile for his students, especially during the holidays.

"On the last day of school and the day before Christmas break he would always bring chocolate bars," said 10th grader Raina Nalley.

Co-workers say lending a helping hand was something Fitch loved to do. He would grocery shop in between shifts for families who couldn't make it to the store.

"He was never to busy, he always came in early and would sit and talk and he always stayed after he came in and sit and listened," said colleague Tina Watson, "and put his two cents in, he made everybody feel like they were important."

Friends, family and residents all agree Fitch is a one of a kind guy.