A tree has been planted at St. Anselm Catholic School in memory of crossing guard Boris Cherkassky, who worked at the Millwood Road and Bessborough Drive intersection adjacent to the school.
The tree planting took place following the funeral Sept. 23. Cherkassky’s family was in attendance with students and staff of St. Anselm.
Messages remembering Cherkassky as a friendly and caring man were left at a makeshift memorial by the intersection he guarded.
Son Yakov Cherkassky knew better than most of his father’s giving spirit. He said he was six years old when his father brought the family to Canada from the Soviet Union.
Cherkassky died suddenly on his way to his post, Sept. 16.
At the time of his death, he was primary caregiver for his 94-year-old mother.
“He’s done so much for us,” Yakov said, adding the rest of the family will now take over caregiver duties.
Positive memories of Cherkassky were not limited just to family.
Linda Paterson Bier — whose children MacKenzie, Kennedy, and Charlize Bier were all guided through intersections by Cherkassky — said her entire family was saddened upon hearing of his passing.
One day when Kennedy came home from school at lunch time during a torrential rain storm. Linda says Kennedy walked in the door wearing a clear rain poncho and when asked where she got it, she smiled and said it was given to her by Boris.
“He really was a special man,” Linda said. “His time, effort and kindness was very much appreciated by this community.”
She added that just two days before Boris died he let all the kids know he wouldn’t be there the next day because he had an appointment, and reminded them to be careful in his absence.
“He cared about these kids and their safe arrival to school each and every day,” she said. “We have a terrible problem with traffic in the South Leaside area, so I always felt confident and grateful when Boris was there.”
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