Linwood Residents Remember a Very Special Crossing Guard
A man who touched the lives of a lot of neighbors in Linwood is being remembered with a special tribute.
According to a post on the Linwood Live Facebook group, crossing guard Arnaldo Lopez passed away recently, and he's being remembered in a special way.
Originally, a Christmas Tree was going to be put near "his corner" at Patcong and Wabash as a remembrance, but that's not possible. (There were concerns that the tree would obstruct views at the intersection.)
Instead, the idea is the purchase a bench with a special plaque in Arnaldo's honor. The bench would be along the Linwood bike path.
Contributions are already coming in. Organizer Melissa Schock says in only a few hours Wednesday, enough funds were collected to pay for the cost of the bench. Any funds over and above the bench cost will be given to Arnaldo's family to help with final expenses. Melissa notes that Arnaldo's wife is also a crossing guard in the city.
Schock had this to say about Arnaldo:
"Everyone knew him from his smile and wave. Probably had the toughest spot with high school, middle school, and elementary school traffic. And if you were not paying attention as a driver and you remotely came close to the welfare of one of his kids he’d let you know. One parent told me that he showed their son how to fix the chain on his bike."
In reaction to the tribute, a lot of people have posted some touching remembrances of "their favorite crossing guard":
"He was a lovely man that served our community well."
"He was the nicest man!!!! When I'd drive to school ... every day last year we would always wave to each other every morning. So sad:("
"He was so kind and is so missed."
Here are comments that were shared on Facebook by Linwood Police:
"We are saddened by the passing of Crossing Guard Arnaldo Lopez who was a fixture at the corner of Patcong & Wabash in front of the Belhaven Ave. School. Affectionately known as ”Nundo”, “Nando”, or “Tio” (among others), you could always count on him to smile, wave, and say hi every time you saw him. Our thoughts & prayers are with his family and friends during this time. He was a great man and we will all miss him."
Rest in peace Arnaldo Lopez - you made a difference.