DeKALB – Love is in the air for longtime Huskie bus driver Jeff Waxman and new fiancèe, Lynn Washer, as they head to their next stop: wedded bliss.
After three years, seven months and eight days, Waxman, 55, proposed to Washer, 52, in front of Altgeld Hall on Northern Illinois University campus on Jan. 18, and their engagement was announced Friday. Together, Waxman and managers from the DeKalb City Transit and Huskie Line helped put together a plan to surprise Washer. The two met on the Jewish Dating website JDate.com.
"I'm a bus groupie," Waxman said. He said he just knew he had to incorporate a bus-theme into his proposal. He even owns a 1976 old Huskie Bus GM and a former Bi-State Development Agency Bus Metro.
Waxman enlisted a team of transportation officials to help him out when he popped the question.
They told Washer that Waxman – who works full time in the intermodal project and implementation division for the Illinois Department of Transportation and has been driving Huskie buses part-time since 1992 – that he was going to be awarded with a 28-year work anniversary award.
When Washer arrived, the group had staged a Huskie Bus to look like it was paying homage to Waxman's work legacy, with the destination sign saying "Congrats on 28 years." They brought Washer inside the bus where some remarks were made about Waxman's career, and then he steered her back outside.
"I go, 'I have an important question for you,'" Waxman said. "I gave one of my friends my cell phone to hold, and we put our song on, then we changed the sign to 'Will you marry me?' and I got down on one knee and gave her the ring."
With "We've Only Just Begun," by The Carpenters serenading the scene, Washer said yes.
"Then we changed the destination sign to 'She said yes' and we all went to Ellwood Steak & Fish House for dinner," Waxman said.
Waxman lives in Lisle and is a 1988 NIU grad with a political science degree with an emphasis in public administration. Washer graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1990 with an elementary education degree, lives in Deerfield and teaches at Bright Horizons Learning Center.
The two will wed June 13, 2021, and are still deciding on a venue.