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After 42 years — the bus route ends for Pieterick

Long-time Wolford driver retires

May 7, 2009
Matt Mullally

The face of busing in the Wolford School District is retiring later this month.

Larry Pieterick, who has driven bus for 42 years and about 800,000 accident-free miles, says it's time to park the bus for good.

"Eileen (my wife) and I are busy working on remodeling our farmstead west of Rugby (in the Berwick area), and we also want to spend more time with the grandchildren,' Larry said.

He knows those roads in the Wolford area like the back of his hand, picking up students early in the morning and dropping them off after school.

"I've gotten to know those kids and those families well over the years,' said Pieterick, who will turn 72 on May 11.

His tenure behind the wheel has meant he's now hauling around second generation Wolford students.

For many years he also drove the activities and fan buses for the school

and recalls the school's trips to the Class B state boys basketball tournament in 1968 and 1969.

"He had tremendous dedication to the school,' said Larry Zavada, Wolford school superintendent."

In addition to being a safe driver, Pieterick saved the district thousands of dollars over the years by changing the oil and performing regular service checks to keep the bus running smoothly. "Oftentimes I'd find out there was a problem with the bus, and Larry had already taken care of it,' Zavada said.

Pieterick said the buses are better now than when he first began driving. Prior to being employed with the Wolford district in the fall of 1967, he worked for Lashman Bus Service of Rolette and also Hartley's Busing of Rugby.

During his few absences, Eileen would fill in, driving the routes. "She's been a good substitute,' Larry said. She also worked as a cook at the school for over 30 years.

His route, on average, covered about 90 miles a day. Over the years the number of students in the district has slowly declined, and the bus hasn't been as full as it once was. However, one constant has been Pieterick.

His final day of serving the district will be Friday, May 22. The district recently recognized his dedication to the district and wished him well on his retirement.



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