LEESBURG, Va. — Mike Lunsford began his pupil transportation career in 1968 as a student bus driver. He was only 16 years old.
In that role, for which he was selected by Loudoun County Public Schools’ (LCPS) superintendent at the time, Lunsford picked up his classmates in the Leesburg area and drove them home from high school.
Lunsford, who passed away June 8 at age 57 after suffering a stroke the week before, served as a dedicated and highly regarded employee of the school district for more than 40 years.
He moved on to the positions of computer operator (1972-75), computer programmer (1975-79), transportation coordinator (1979-86) and transportation operations supervisor (1986-95).
In 1995, Lunsford was named director of transportation, the role in which he served until his passing. He was known for his humor and kindness, even in the face of stressful situations. He oversaw a fleet of 776 buses that traveled more than 9 million miles per year transporting LCPS students to and from school and on activity trips.
The school board honored Lunsford for 40 years of service to LCPS at a board meeting last year.
In 2001, LCPS was named one of SCHOOL BUS FLEET’s Great Fleets Across America.
“LCPS and the community have lost a great leader and a great friend,” Superintendent Edgar Hatrick III said. “Tens of thousands of Loudoun's young people are better for having been served by J. Michael Lunsford.”
Appropriately, LCPS provided bus service to transport mourners to and from Lunsford’s funeral service Wednesday morning.
Surviving are his wife of 31 years, Catherine A. “Tootie” Lunsford, his sons Josh (known to all as “Bubba”) and Zack, and his daughter Emily, whom he affectionately called “Sitty.”