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METROLINK COLLISION: PORTRAITS OF LOSS / ROGER SPACEY

'A naturally happy guy'

September 15, 2008|Cara Mia DiMassa

Roger Spacey preferred the simple life.

The Simi Valley resident appreciated the trees and the grass and the sky, said his son, Chris. He loved to walk. He stored his phone numbers in a notebook rather than in his cellphone, carried a backpack and not a briefcase.

And he loved trains.

Spacey, 60, took the train every day to his job at a printing plant in Glendale. He always parked in the same place at the Simi Valley station, and he always took the first car.

"We had heard that in train crashes, most people were injured in the first car," said Chris Spacey, 30. "What he liked about the first car is that when the train dropped him off at the Simi Valley station, he would be able to wave at the conductor. That was his No. 1 thing to do: wave at the conductor."

Spacey was a native of England who moved to the United States more than 30 years ago. He and his wife, Liz, lived first in Venice Beach, then North Hollywood, Canoga Park, and since 1982, Simi Valley, where they raised Chris and his older brother, Matt.

"He was just a naturally happy guy," Chris said.

Friday afternoon, work at the printing plant was a little slow, and Roger Spacey decided to take an earlier train than usual. He was in the first car that day too.

-- Cara Mia DiMassa

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