Memorial service held for beloved school crossing guard

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Sonny Alston (WTVD)

Mourners filled Cary's Grace Bible Fellowship Saturday for the memorial service for Sonny Alston, a beloved crossing guard at Northwoods Elementary School.

The man who took just one vacation during 10 years on the job was remembered for his positive attitude, infectious smile seen by countless students, and the unique way he directed traffic.

"My dad didn't have much," said Tyrone Dunston, one of Alston's five children. "But he wanted everybody to just smile, have a great day, wave and just sometimes say 'hey' to a person who you don't know."

Alston died on December 20 after being in the hospital from a stroke. Before his passing, kids at Northwoods sent him cards and messages to show their support of the man they saw every day.

A grateful community smiled and laughed as senior pastor Norman Peart demonstrated the many moves of Sonny.

"There was the one handed wave, and then when he wanted to add a little bit extra, there was the two handed wave," said Peart. "There was the thumb raise. Anybody seen that one? Then there was the peace sign!"

All those signs, waves and gestures made a lasting impression on Brandon Wacaser, a young man who spoke to the congregation during Saturday's service. Wacaser wrote about Alston for one of his college application essays.

"I've been living in this area for nine years. I've seen him for six years, going to my middle school up the street," said Wacaser. "I think that what he does is amazing. The way that he brings happiness to the world with such a simple tactic is incredible."

"That's what he woke up for," sad Dunston. "Just to put a smile on a face. And if everybody can do that, this'll be a better place."

"I still feel like he's still here, you know?" Wacaser told ABC11. "It's just not going to be the same. It's never going to be the same."

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