longtime bus driver decides to retire after 29 years | News, Sports, Jobs


Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Floyd Flasher, 81, sat behind the wheel of his school bus outside the Warren Area Elementary Center on Tuesday, retired from driving the bus, dropped it off and returned the keys after 29 years.

A longtime school bus driver in the Warren area last parked his bus and handed over the keys on Tuesday.

For 29 years, Floyd Flasher, 81, of Chandlers Valley, transported students with special needs wherever they needed to go. He retired after his afternoon run on Tuesday.

“I did not accept this job for the money” said Flasher.

The work did not pay so well and “it’s a lot of responsibility” he said.

It was something he could do to occupy himself.

“I have never had a problem driving” said Flasher. “I never had a hard time seeing.”

And he found it fulfilling.

“I like working with special children” he said. “I raised a couple.

Not all drivers are able to transport students with special needs, he said. “It’s a little harder to get them to listen, but once you get them to do it, they’re pretty good” he said.

During his first 10 years behind the wheel, he drove a specialty van every day to Erie. Then it moved to Warren Bus Lines with a new owner. Until Wednesday, he estimated that he spent four hours a day on the bus – No B49 – traveling about 35 km in the morning and a little more in the afternoon.

Keeping busy has never been a problem.

“One thing I always had was ambition” he said.

Flasher worked at United Refinery for 20 years. He missed a day during that time – he didn’t tell his doctor he only missed one day.

He also missed a day as a bus driver. “I had to do it for an operation” he said.

Thanks to a full hip replacement, a lifelong blocked artery, and prostate cancer, Flasher kept working. “I was in pretty good shape” he said. “I’ve never been the type to miss work.”

His work ethic and attitude are well known.

“I have had the privilege of knowing Floyd Flasher for the past 11 years”, Warren County School District Transportation Director Mike Kiehl said. “Floyd has been a reliable driver and comes to work with a great attitude. He will certainly be missed.

There is mutual admiration. “Mike Kiehl is one of the best guys I have ever met,” said Flasher.

Flasher was ready for a bus recertification – that would have allowed him to work for four more years. He decided that 81 was an appropriate retirement age and did not go through the recertification process.

He said he liked the job, but didn’t want to go to the cemetery.

“I’ve done enough” he said.

Upon retirement, Flasher hopes to transport a student with special needs to Erie every day for about a year – but in a private vehicle rather than a school bus.

And, “I will still be working on my house. I will always use my oil lease , he said. “I feel better when I wake up early. Floyd isn’t just going to sit in the chair.

“My idea of ​​retirement is to stay busy” said Flasher. “This is how we stay in shape. You will live longer.

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