Diverse lives, one tragic link

A caring neighbor

His name was Ernest, but for some reason everyone knew him as Pete. A few called him Ernie. Ernest just seemed too formal for such a nice, friendly guy.

Ernest Kish, 47, died Friday, one of the more than two dozen victims of the gruesome collision between a Metrolink commuter train and a freight train.

Marcia Sheffield, a neighbor, remembered Kish as “a wonderful family man” and caring neighbor who recently went out of his way to look after an elderly neighbor who had fallen ill.


Kish was the father of a young daughter and a teenage son, Sheffield said.

He lived with his family in the Thousand Oaks home of his childhood -- an architectural gem built by developer Joseph Eichler.

He could often be found tending to his impressive garden of rose bushes and natural California shrubbery, Sheffield said.

“He was just such a gentle, kind guy,” she said. “We are going to miss him very much.”

-- Joel Rubin