GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Students could always learning some kind of lesson from Mr. Thurman Haynes whether in kindness or just how to be a good friend. But Haynes wasn't a teacher instead he was an extraordinaire volunteer with the Guilford County Schools system.
But on Thursday, school leaders say Haynes passed away at the age of 97. The days will be heavier with his absence at Haynes-Inman Education Center. That's because he's like one of those students who never misses a day of school. Haynes has been a volunteer at the school every day since its opening in 2010. The school was named after his granddaughter, Meredith Leigh Haynes, who had a number of disabilities and passed away at a young age.
Haynes would help students on and off the bus, push them to class in their wheelchairs, and have fun with them on the adaptive playground.
They would celebrate his birthdays with cake and sing his favorite song, "Keep on the sunny side of life."
Last month he was named the national winner of the Salute to Senior Service contest by Home Instead Senior Care. And We too at WFMY News 2 will miss seeing Mr. Haynes. We were there for his honor in Apirl. We asked him then why he loves to volunteer he said, "I just love these kids that's why I do it. They'll teach you a lot if you'll just pay attention to them." The kids even made him posters that day that read, "We love you Mr. Thurman Haynes."