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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Like a fluorescent beacon that braves the most drenching rains and powerful winds, Beverly Belz dressed in a yellow full-length rain coat takes her position at the corner of Skipwith and Frazee Roads in Henrico County's West End.

At the crack of dawn and late afternoon Monday through Friday, Beverly safeguards a precious resource from Three Chopt Elementary School. The 79-year-old woman was sworn in as a Henrico Police crossing guard 41 years ago.

Beverly Belz

"It is good to get (the children) across safely," Beverly said. "I have to remind them please walk."

Beverly has shepherded generations of students at five different county schools.

bev3

The cars and kids may have changed, but her mission has not.

"It get busy at times. It goes in spurts," Beverly said. "They’re lives depend on it. Somebody has to be here."

Three Chopt Elementary School’s former principal Rob Spotts said he could always depend on Beverly.

beverly-belz

"I think she is enjoying the kids and I think she enjoys being with them," Spotts said. "A person that knows the community so well and knows these families so well it is just invaluable. There is no question."

Tim Smith has been watching Beverly perform her duties for decades right in front of his house.

"She loves those kids. She really does," Smith said. "She is a serious person about her job and she is all about the welfare and safety of the children."

But after four decades of stopping traffic, Bev’s days at her crosswalk are numbered. She is hanging up her whistle at the end of November.

Beverly Belz

Beverly Belz

"All good things come to an end. This is going to be it," an emotional Beverly said. "I don’t know. I can't think about it right now. I’ll cry."

Beverly may be leaving behind the children she loves, but she’ll be carrying a lifetime of memories away from the cross-walk that will never be the same.

"There won’t be another Beverly," Tim Smith said. "Not to me."

Greg McQuade features local heroes in a weekly “Heroes Among Us” segment. Watch Greg’s reports Thursdays on CBS News at 6 or here on WTVR.com. If you would like to nominate someone to be featured on “Heroes Among Us,” click here to email heroes@wtvr.com.

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