Lucy Jones, 80, a crossing guard for 41 years in York City School District had a new bench dedicated in her honor at South Broad Street and East Market
Lucy Jones, 80, a crossing guard for 41 years in York City School District had a new bench dedicated in her honor at South Broad Street and East Market Street. York Dispatch file photo

For more than 40 years, sometimes three times a day, Lucy Jones stood at a York City intersection to make sure students got safely to and from school.

She became a crossing guard in 1969, the same year her oldest daughter went off to college.

Jones knew every child's name, and she had a knack for mediating youthful disputes, said her granddaughter, Miesha Hill.

"She'd be able to go in and tell them, 'Boys, you know, calm down,'" Hill said. "And they listened to her. They respected her."

Jones died last week at the age of 84.

"She was just awesome, just a wonderful person," Hill said. "I can't think of any day that she ever raised her voice or had a bad day. She always had a smile, and she loved people unconditionally."

Honored: The mother of three was honored in 2010 with a bench at the South Broad Street and East Market Street intersection, where she helped students of Alexander D. Goode school cross the street for decades.

Some thought the then-80-year-old woman might appreciate a place to sit down as she worked.

"She never did," Hill said.

The Goode students — "She called them her children," Jones' daughter, Brenda Elby, said.

Indeed, standing near several Goode students at the 2010 ceremony that honored her, Jones said, "These are my kids."

Elby, a retired York City teacher, said her mother used to hand out candy canes at Christmas and bags of candy at Easter.

"She was a giver. She was very generous," Elby said.

Those gestures clearly had an impact on the kids, who, as adults, frequently approached Elby and her mother while they were shopping.

"Almost every time, there was somebody who would come up and say, 'I know you,'" Elby said.

Stepping down: At the request of her family, Jones put down the stop sign a few years ago.

"It was really hard for her the past two years ... not having that interaction," Hill said. "It was just getting to be too much, too cold. We wanted her in. It was more our doing than hers."

But Jones remained active, visiting the gym several times a week, her granddaughter said.

"She was getting around better than me," Hill, 36, said with a laugh.

The family has scheduled a service for Jones at 11 a.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church of York, 225 E Market St. A viewing will precede the funeral from 9 to 11 a.m.

— Reach Erin James at ejames@yorkdispatch.com.