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ALPENA, Mich. — Alpena’s school bus drivers paid tribute to a friend gone all–too–soon on Thursday.

Bus driver and veteran Ray Ellsworth passed away suddenly this past weekend. In honor of his memory, his fellow drivers arranged a procession.

But instead of a sorrowful black, this procession was a warm and joyous yellow, led by Ellsworth’s own bus, 15B.

One driver, Sue Buczkowski, told WBKB that Ellsworth frequently went above and beyond the call of duty. And for that, he was beloved by kids and co–workers alike.

“He was, I think, a part of everybody. I mean, he put all the cameras- and any kind of electrical thing- in the buses. He worked as a janitor out the schools. He’s helped out here with the mechanics. And I think he’s really going to be missed.”

Ellsworth’s co–workers said he kept his wit sharp and was never short on jokes. His favorite things included hunting, reading, and gardening.

Ellsworth’s family told WBKB they were immensely touched by the display.