Community remembers dedicated Rapides Parish School bus driver

PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - Friends, family and students gathered on Saturday to celebrate the life of area musician and dedicated bus driver Keithen O'Brain Iles. Iles passed suddenly at the beginning of May.

More than 500 community members filled the room at Zion Hill Baptist Church for the 34 year old's service.

Friends said Iles had a passion for music and played at churches across Central Louisiana.

He didn't marry or have children, but those who worked with him driving buses for the Rapides Parish School System said the students were his kids.

Iles drove the routes for Pineville High School and J.I. Barron. Students along with community members boarded his bus, number 18-13, to his final resting place. Co-workers also led the way, driving buses from the Pineville fleet.

"He lived for his kids on his bus, and if anything he would want to go out on his bus," said co-worker Kenneth Bowie. "So, we are going to take him out. All of us that are here in line today are all of his closest bus driver friends. We came out today to support him."

Students said Iles always worked to put smiles on their faces.

"First, it didn't seem real," said recent Pineville High School graduate Samuel Bang. "Just how positive he is and how much of a positive impact he had on us, we didn't believe it at first. But, I feel that now we have a sense of responsibility that with that positive impact, we have to carry that on now. I think everyone here understands that now."

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