That’s the word Robert K. Pfaff used Wednesday to describe how he felt about the Metro Transit Center being named in his honor.
“I don’t know how to act,” Pfaff, Metro’s executive director said during a ceremony in his honor at the downtown bus center he helped make a reality. “It’s been a privilege to have the career I’ve had. It’s been a thrill and a joy for me. This is the icing on the cake.”
Pfaff, who has pneumonia and was in the hospital Tuesday night, made his remarks sitting down because of his illness. He didn’t want to miss the ceremony because of the many family and friends who planned to come. They filled the large waiting area of the center Wednesday, lined up several deep behind the rows of seats.
Pfaff, who started with Metro 38 years ago as a bus driver and plans to retire at the end of the year, said he never imagined the agency would one day name a building for him.
“It’s absolutely amazing to me,” said Pfaff, 61, who got a standing ovation, cheers and applause from the audience. “I’m so unworthy.”
Pfaff said seeing the transit center built was the highlight of his career. The center gives bus riders a place out of the weather to make transfers. A sign outside the center will announce the new name, as will a marquee over the customer service counter and a wall plaque.
Several local leaders attended the ceremony, speaking highly of Pfaff and his years of service.
Mayor Don Plusquellic called Pfaff “one of the best individuals I’ve ever worked with.”
“I’ve never been mad at Bob Pfaff,” he said, drawing laughter from the crowd.
Plusquellic and a representative of U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton’s office gave Pfaff proclamations.
Summit County Executive Russ Pry called Pfaff a “visionary leader in Akron and Summit County.”
“Akron would not be the same had it not been for his leadership,” Pry said.
Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705 or firstname.lastname@example.org.