WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – College Hill Elementary students ended the school year on Wednesday honoring their custodian Duane Bookout, who died in March.

The American Legion Post 4 held a flag-folding ceremony in his honor. Bookout served in the military and was head custodian at the school until he died.

“One of his greatest duties was that he got to lower and raise the flag every day. That flag that is flying right now is the flag that he had his hands on last,” said Jason Barton, a member of the College Hill PTO and American Legion.

Bookout loved spending time with the children and went above to ensure the school was cared for.

“I’m proud that the kids are going to see this. They all loved Duane. He was a great guy, and he had just as much pride in serving his country as he did serving the school,” Barton said.

Anita Bookout, Duane’s wife, said that some of the children at the school attended his funeral and made the family cards.

“They continually reach out to us,” said Anita. “This was his second home.”

“He put so much love into this school. He had a very big passion for College Hill and the children that came here,” said Adrian Carter, Duane’s daughter.

Duane participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a United States Army National Guard soldier.

“He was a patriot through and through,” said Anita.