CHURCH HILL, Tenn. — A funeral procession for a longtime school bus driver here included the last bus he drove before retiring, Kingsport Times-News reports.
The family of Robert Brooks, a former driver for Hawkins County Schools, was taken to his procession on Dec. 28 in bus No. 89 — the last bus he drove before he retired in 2016, according to the newspaper. Darrell Lawson, a current driver for the district, drove the family on the bus, which is now used as a backup while the district's other buses are repaired, he told Kingsport Times-News.
Brooks started driving the big yellow bus in 1958 after a Hawkins County Schools board member approached him about the job, according to the newspaper. In 2010, with 52 consecutive years of driving under his belt, Brooks beat the record for the longest-serving school bus driver in the state, Kingsport Times-News reports. When he reached 56 years of service in 2014, he was inducted into the Tennessee Association of Pupil Transportation's School Bus Driver Hall of Fame.
Brooks passed away on Dec. 25 in his home at the age of 84, according to the newspaper. His wife, Janice Brooks, told Kingsport Times-News “he would have been so proud,” regarding the procession.
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