Hundreds Gather to Remember Menifee's Doug Symiczek

Doug Symiczek is shown with his wife and daughters during a slide show at his memorial service S...

Doug Symiczek is shown with his wife and daughters during a slide show at his memorial service Saturday afternoon.
The patriarch of a Menifee family that lost three three husbands and fathers in a plane crash was remembered Saturday before a crowd of more than 300.

Douglas John Symiczek, known as Doug or "Dougie" to friends and loved ones, was remembered as a wonderful family man who lived life to the fullest and would do anything for others.

The large audience gathered in the auditorium at Hans Christensen Middle School watched a slide show picturing many happy moments in the life of Symiczek and his family, which included sons-in-law Kyle Parton and Jacobs Griffiths. The three men died July 6 near Lake Elsinore when their small plane crashed because of engine failure.

The fatal accident leaves three widows in the Symiczek family: Kim Symiczek, wife of Doug; and their two daughters -- Breanna Parton, wife of Kyle; and Amanda Griffiths, wife of Jacob. Kyle Parton is also survived by a 3-year-old son, Ryder, and a daughter named Trulee, born a week after his father's death. Amanda Griffiths is expecting her first child in January.

As tragic as the loss is to the family and the community, there was a sense of love and dedication expressed throughout the ceremony.

"I promise to work as hard as you did to keep your dreams alive," Kim Symiczek wrote to her late husband in a letter that was read during the ceremony. "And I promise to help bring up our grandchildren the way that you wanted, making sure that the boys teach them everything that you taught them ... you will live on in all of our hearts and by the stories we will continue to tell about you. A true love story never ends."

Symiczek's daughters stood at the podium as Amanda read a letter from the two of them, which said in part, "We promise to carry on the priceless life lessons you taught us. You are our superhero."

Doug and Kim Symiczek were high school sweethearts who married in 1984 and bought their first home in Menifee in 1987. Doug was described as one who loved the outdoors -- tending to his garden, enjoying life in a boat on the water and flying his small plane.

"Doug was passionate about his business, DJS Fabrications, and absolutely thrilled that his inventions had started to really take off," wrote his family in a letter prin