LANSDALE, Pa. (WPVI) -- The end of the school year is marking the end of an extraordinary career for a bus driver who made his last route in Lansdale Thursday.
Behind the wheel of bus 124, 77-year-old Jim Allebach from Franconia Township finished up his final ride for the North Penn School District, retiring after 51 years on the job.
Bus drivers from across the district lined up their vehicles at the depot in Lansdale, cheering and waving him in.
"It was awesome, it was unbelievable how nice everybody was," Allebach said.
It was an emotional day for coworkers and for Jim. He's logged more than a million miles and driven multiple generations of families.
"Thank you for the community for having me drive your children," Allebach said.
Jim began back in 1966. He had a new family and was looking for another job.
"When I got married, I had my first child, and so I needed a little extra money and said this works into my schedule just fine," he said.
The job suited him. He's loved seeing his students grow up. Fellow drivers have watched him and learned from him.
Bus driver Jennifer Zampirri said. "Jim is a very humble man, demeanors always the same, treats everybody with kindness and love."
Another bus driver Elaine Zaremba said, "Life is definitely too short. And he has taught us all how to be better people."
Jim might have handed in his keys to his bus, but his retirement plans do involve driving. But this time, it's his antique cars to car shows.
The steering wheel of the school bus was removed and presented to him that will always hold a special place for him.
His parting words of wisdom, ones he himself lives by.
"Just be kind to everybody," Allebach said.
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