Grosse Pointe family continues longtime crossing guard’s tradition of service

The important baton was passed from father to son

To guide a child safely across a street was something Dick Krausmann did lovingly for 51 years. He would stop what he was doing, wherever he was doing it, and head towards Maire Elementary School in Grosse Pointe with his vest and stop signs and cross children safely.

GROSSE POINTE, Mich. – To guide a child safely across a street was something Dick Krausmann did lovingly for 51 years. He would stop what he was doing, wherever he was doing it, and head towards Maire Elementary School in Grosse Pointe with his vest and stop signs and cross children safely.

The many children on Cadieux Road didn’t even know him as Mr. Krausmann; he was Mr. Cross-man.

“He watched all of these kids grow up,” said his son Jeff Krausmann. “He said I’m really getting old when I see people that are getting old. He crossed their kids and grandkids.”

He crossed Greg McPartlin’s children every day.

There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for the community,” said McPartlin. “He has dedicated his life to the kids and giving back to the community.”

Celia Krausmann took it over for a while when he couldn’t cross the children after suffering an injury.

“For the longest time, she did the morning shift, and he did the afternoon shift,” Jeff Krausmann said.

And when Celia Krausmann passed away in 2018, on the days Mr. Krausmann couldn’t do it, his sons did.

“When he would go on vacation, and he couldn’t make, or something would come up like a funeral, then I was the man on the job,” Jeff Krausmann said. “So, I’ve been doing it a long time too. So I’d just grab the sign and run out there and do it. Double duty.”

Dick Krausmann crossed those children until he was 92 years old. Crossing the kids got hard during the fall of 2021, and he asked his son to step in and take his place.

“You start to find this connection with these kids and then when I sit with my dad, my dad would ask me about certain things and how they were doing and everything else, I thought, ‘this was a great little job,’ and as the weather got colder, I realized how tough it is because of the snow and sleet,” said Ken Krausmann. “In the afternoon, Jeff (Krausmann) could attest to it as people kind of drive a little more crazy. We had situations, and you have to kind of be on guard. It’s not just fun and games.”

Dick Krausmann had seven children and 20 grandchildren, and in a family this size, with hearts that big, there is enormous joy but tremendous sadness.

Dick Krausmann (the cross-man) joined his wife on Valentine’s Day as he passed away at 94 years old. The children and their families notice a new cross-man, his son, who wears his father’s crossing vest. Has picked up the stop signs as though a sacred baton has been handed off, and the family tradition continues.

His son says he has earned his green light to cross over into heaven.


About the Authors:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.