The Colbert County community is mourning the passing of a beloved school bus driver after he lost his battle with coronavirus.
Bobby Stutts, 62, died Sunday at Helen Keller Hospital after fighting the virus for weeks.
Stutts' wife, Michelle Stutts, said Bobby drove a bus for the county for more than five years. The father and grandfather could be a strict bus driver when he needed to be but would do anything for anyone. His family and this school system are missing him more than they can explain.
"He loved his family, and most of all, he loved the Lord Jesus Christ," said Stutts.
WAAY 31 spoke with Michelle Stutts over the phone about her husband, Bobby. The two shared 19 years together.
"We ate here once a week, everybody did. He was always here, too," said Stutts.
Those weekly family dinners will have one less person because of coronavirus. The family also hurts because they say Bobby took all the recommended coronavirus precautions, and they just don't know where he could've gotten it, but he did get sick.
Michelle said her husband fought it as best he could, but he had to be admitted to the hospital on Oct. 20. Stutts said he was diagnosed with coronavirus on Oct. 14. Prior to that, he had the flu. Michelle couldn't be there with him, but Bobby was surrounded by nurses and doctors all trying to save him.
"She was crying as she was trying to tell me. She was very compassionate," said Stutts.
Bobby Stutts was a beloved bus driver, too. His main school route was at Colbert Heights. Staff members put out a sign saying "Pray for Bobby Stutts" while he was sick. The sign had a picture of a bus and his bus number, which was 46. When he passed, his bus students sent a flower arrangement to his funeral.
"It really broke my heart, I guess, because they are gonna miss him, too," said Stutts.
Michelle said Bobby's fellow bus drivers and the Colbert County School district have shown her family so much love and support. That's something she won't forget.
"I knew Bobby was a good man all the time I've known him, but I don't think I really realized how good of a man he was until he died, until people started commenting and commenting on stuff," she said.
Bobby's colleagues and others are raising money for his headstone. You can click here to donate to that fund or use PayPal to donate straight to Michelle and her family at Michellestutts2@aol.com. Michelle said she's had her moments, but she's trying to be strong for her family.
Colbert County Schools Superintendent Dr. Gale Satchel told us, "Mr. Stutts was a valuable member of our transportation staff. He cherished his bus kids like they were his family. His presence will be sorely missed."
Stutts was laid to rest on Wednesday.