Students surprise janitor with sweetest 80th birthday bash

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A janitor from Georgia was surprised with a special party on Wednesday in celebration of his milestone birthday.

Haze Mabry, known to students and staff at Pike Elementary School as “Mr. Haze,” turned 80 years old on March 27. When he entered the building, students were lined up in the hallways chanting his name and showering him with hugs.

“They got me good,” Mr. Haze told “Good Morning America” of the surprise. “All those little kids, I feel like they’re my own.”

Mr. Haze is an army veteran, father of 4 and has been married to his wife Bill Mabry for 55 years.

It’s his 13th year working at Pike and his age doesn’t appear to be slowing him down.

“It’s the best job I ever had,” Mr. Haze said. “There’s always something interesting going on.”

School janitor Mr. Haze celebrated his 80th birthday at Pike County Elementary School.

Rachel McDaniel/ Pike County Journal-Reporter

School janitor Mr. Haze celebrated his 80th birthday at Pike County Elementary School.

Lori Dailey Gilreath, a reading teacher at Pike, told “GMA:” that Mr. Haze is extremely loved by all who know him.

“He is the heart of our building and he is the sunshine of our building,” said Gilreath, who helped plan the big party. “This school would not be the same without Mr. Haze.”

School janitor Mr. Haze celebrated his 80th birthday at Pike County Elementary School.

Rachel McDaniel/ Pike County Journal-Reporter

School janitor Mr. Haze celebrated his 80th birthday at Pike County Elementary School.

The students, grades 3 to 5, all contributed to writing “80 reasons why we love Mr. Haze” and also made banners. One sign read, “Happy Birthday Old Man, we love you!”

Everyone filled buckets with handwritten birthday cards, which were hauled to Mr. Haze’s car in a golf cart.

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