- “She would do anything for you, you just had to ask. And sometimes you didn’t even had to do that, she would just show up and do it. That’s the kind of person that she was.” Those were the words from Glenda Schenck, a Coweta Public Schools bus driver who took the time Monday afternoon to talk about her best friend- Phyllis Stunkard.
- Stunkard, who was 81 years old, recently passed away after battling a brain tumor. For the past 43 years, she dedicated most of her life to transporting kids to and from school safely as a bus driver for the Coweta Public School District. She started driving in 1978 after being a teacher’s aid for the district. Schenck said Stunkard loved her job, her bus family, and the kids she saw daily.
- Transportation Director for Coweta Public Schools Rick Greene says Stunkard found out about the tumor back in April of last year. It was about that time that bus routes came to a halt because of COVID-19. He says Stunkard never returned after she was diagnosed.
- Greene says while Stukard was away, she would frequently call the bus barn to catch up during the week and ask how her students were doing. He says it was the week before Christmas break that they reached out to her but never received a call back. Greene says they found out she wasn’t doing well and learned that she lost her battle with her tumor on December 29. Greene added, “As short handed as we are and then to lose somebody as dedicated as she was.. it’s big shoes to fill. To be honest, there’s not many who could fill her shoes.”
- To help honor their friend, several bus drivers for Coweta Public Schools decided to decorate the bus she drove for more than 40 years- Bus #13. Bus Driver, Julie Eskridge, says they decided to put a banner on the bus, a large pink bow, and butterflies. She says Stunkard loved butterflies the most. During the memorial service on January 6th, Eskridge says they brought Stunkard’s bus, and before leaving, honked the bus 13 times to remember her dedication and the bus she drove for so many years.
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