SAN JOSE, CA — Tony Perez worked as a custodian for Union School District
for 34 years, 28 of them at Guadalupe Elementary School
, where he earned a reputation as a friend, counselor and all-around good guy, according to the Mercury News
Perez''s reputation was so important to the school district that the Guadalupe community rewarded him with "Mr. Tony Day," the article noted.
As Perez stood shyly in front of a crowd of at least 200 people on January 28, he accepted praise and a proclamation from city council member Nancy Pyle and more praise from parent Suzanne Oehler and Guadalupe Principal Roberta Zarea, the article stated.
Others were there to hug and thank the man who worked at the school despite having diabetes and while fighting leukemia, the article added.
According to the article, during the ceremony, Oehler presented Perez with a video compilation of his time at the school and a bronze plaque commemorating January 28 and noting his dedication to the students and teachers.