Community plants tree in honor of crossing guard

Lynne Hermansen
Gardner News

Members of the Gardner community came together last week to honor a beloved crossing guard who was struck by a car while on the job in February and died less than two weeks later.

The group gathered at the corner of Madison and North Poplar Street on April 24 to pay tribute to Dave Peavy in the place where he stood every morning helping students safely cross the street.

Parent and organizer Kerri Kueser said she and her daughter witnessed the accident that morning.

“We were on the other side of the crosswalk, and I was the first to him when he got hit,” she said. “So his death hit pretty close to home for us.”

After talking with Peavy’s wife and son, Kueser said she learned Peavy loved trees and forestry, so she decided to rally help to plant a tree in his memory.

“Several people came together to make this happen, and I am so happy to be a part of it,” she said.

Other plans for the location include a bench, which will be placed in early June next to the tree, which was donated by resident Zach Davies.

Peavy was 76 when he passed away on March 4. A United States Marine veteran, he moved to Olathe in 1983, then to Spring Hill, eventually settling in Gardner, where worked as a crossing guard for the school district. He also served as Santa Claus for many community events through the years.

“Dave was an extremely loved individual in the community and his accident and death proved how much people appreciated him,” Kueser said. “I know a lot of people miss his waves in the morning.”