CORDELIA -- California Highway Patrol Officer Kenyon Youngstrom was a respected officer, a loving father and a pillar of the Cordelia community, friends said Wednesday.
"He didn't cuss, he didn't drink alcohol, he was just a very good person, a pillar," said Cordelia resident John Caughman, who lived next to Youngstrom for seven years.
Youngstrom, a 37-year-old married father of four, was pronounced dead Wednesday at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where he had been on life support after being shot in the head Tuesday during a traffic stop.
Family and colleagues kept a nearly round-the-clock watch at the hospital, and praised Youngstrom as a steadfast officer.
"He's there to support all of us as a team member," said CHP spokeswoman Sgt. Diana McDermott, describing Youngstrom as a generous colleague always eager to help others.
"He's a man of faith, close to his family, and right now his family is hurting," she added. "We're all hurting.
"We think that every day we're going to go home to our families ... and unfortunately that's not what happened in this case. We do our best to take care of each other and support each other as we progress through this."
Youngstrom, a seven-year veteran of the CHP, graduated from the academy in 2006 and was assigned to the Martinez office.
He had also served as a unit supply specialist in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1994 to 2002. Youngstrom was assigned to the 301st
Mike Taylor, director of public affairs for the Oakland Raiders, confirmed that Youngstrom had worked for the Oakland Football Marketing Association, a now-defunct entity that sold tickets for Raiders games when the team first moved back to Oakland from Los Angeles.
In the tiny, tight-knit street Caughman shared with Youngstrom the two families were close: they carpooled their children to school, exchanged gifts at Christmas and kept an eye on each other's homes. Caughman said Youngstrom would come home from his shift as a CHP officer and still find time and energy to play kickball or baseball with his four children.
About a year ago, the Youngstrom family moved to a different home in Cordelia, Caughman said.
"We hated to lose them as neighbors," Caughman said.
New neighbors describe Youngstrom similarly.
"From what I can see he's a family guy," said Mary Thomas. "I feel so sad that I never got to know him."
Youngstrom has a twin brother, is originally from the Los Angeles area and his family previously lived in Vallejo, Caughman said.
"I just feel for his kids because he was all about his kids," Caughman said. "You don't find guys like that."
A vigil is planned for Youngstrom at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Ridgeview Park at 4950 Silver Creek Road in Fairfield.
Staff writer Sean Maher contributed to this report. Contact David DeBolt at 925-943-8048. Follow him at Twitter.com/daviddebolt. Contact Daniel M. Jimenez at 510-262-2728. Follow him at Twitter.com/DMJreports.