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‘Steadfast and joyful’ man loved to cook

A gourmet cook, Doyle Souser loved whipping up a great meal for family and his many friends in Camarillo.

That’s why Souser, 56, general manager of a Burbank supplier of construction products, caught an early train home Friday. He wanted to cook a tri-tip for his wife and three children, said Russell Shubin, a family friend.

It would be an agonizing 24 hours before Claudia Souser and the couple’s three children, Kelsey, 19, Zachary, 15, and Mackenzie, 13, would learn that Souser was among those killed in Friday’s Metrolink crash.

“He usually took the 113 [train], but he took the 111 this day,” Shubin said. “It just adds to the pain of loss.”

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Friends described Souser as a devoted husband and father, and a steadfast member of Camarillo’s tight-knit Christian community. He served as a church elder for the last seven years, volunteering hours of ministry at churches in Ventura County, Shubin said.

Along with his wife, Souser home-schooled their children and others in the community. He taught a 7 a.m. economics class to his own children and other Ventura County youth, a time that allowed him to catch his regular train to Burbank.

Daughter Kelsey was grateful that her dad had the chance to see her off to college at Point Loma University. But Souser missed by days the 13th birthday of younger daughter Mackenzie, and the family postponed a planned weekend celebration, Shubin said.

Souser and his son, Zachary, were regulars at Cronies, a Camarillo sports grill, where they would watch his beloved Denver Broncos, Shubin said. Their families often socialized together, he said, and Souser won people over with a steady, warm personality and an engaging smile.

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“He was the same man day in and day out,” he said. “You never wondered if he was going to be up or down. He was steadfast and joyful.”

Raised on a farm in Colorado that his family has tended for four generations, he recently bought a bright red 1946 Chevy pickup because it reminded him of a similar vehicle from his youth, Shubin said.

Souser will be buried on the family farm after a memorial service in Camarillo on Friday. He also is survived by his sister, JoNell Mollohan, and his mother, Norma Souser.

-- Catherine Saillant

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